WHARFEDALE MP Greg Mulholland has issued a statement in reaction to this week's announcement of a June, 2017 General Election.

In his announcement, Mr Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) said: "I look forward to standing in Leeds North West for the fourth consecutive time and will be asking local people to put their trust in me once again, to carry on being a strong voice for our area, to campaign for positive change and to hold this divisive Government to account.

"After months of telling the British people there would be no snap election, Theresa May has now done a complete U-turn and has announced she wants to have one! Having told people she wanted stability to unite the country she is instead acting cynically in the interests of the Conservative Party, not the country. Having said at least seven times that she wouldn’t seek a snap election, people will now from on find it hard to trust anything Theresa May says.

"This snap election does, though, give the British people the chance to send a clear message to the Prime Minister and more and more people are looking for a strong opposition to this divisive Government, its failure to properly support the NHS and schools and its obsession with a damaging and divisive hard Brexit.

"With the Labour party divided and fighting internal battles, more and more people are turning to the Liberal Democrats and we are showing in Parliament and in the country that we are becoming that real opposition.

"The Fixed-term Parliaments Act removed the direct ability of the Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament and trigger a general election but allowed for an early election to be held if a motion is backed by at least two-thirds of the whole House of Commons, that is 434 Members out of 650, or without division.

"This motion is being put to the House of Commons on Wednesday and it is clear it will be passed, so the election is going to happen on Thursday, June 8.

"I am ready for the fight and so are the Liberal Democrats."

He added: "I want to carry on being a champion for Leeds North West, a campaigner for change and also to be part of a real opposition in Westminster. Together we can send a clear message that the Government needs to listen and bring the country together, not divide it."