Rainham MP says Tory expenses fraud investigation lies behind Theresa May’s election decision
PUBLISHED: 13:27 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 20 April 2017
An MP has accused the prime minster of “flip flopping” over her decision to call a snap general election on June 8.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham spoke to the Recorder after MPs backed Theresa May’s early poll by a margin of 522 votes to 13 in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
In Tuesday’s announcement Mrs May said she had concluded that only way to guarantee certainty and security for the country was to hold an early election.
Mr Cruddas said: “I voted to have the election and I am looking forward to it.
“But let’s call it as it is. There is no need for it. We should be getting on with Brexit and we have the mandate to do that from the referendum.
“The election is not on a point of principle it is just a flip flop by Mrs May having ruled it out for months for opportunistic reasons.”
Mr Cruddas says this lies behind the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) investigation into alleged Tory expenses fraud during the 2015 election.
The CPS is deciding whether to press charges over allegations that Conservative candidates, who are now MPs, did not properly declare their expenses two years ago.
“The CPS’ plans would end the Tory majority,” Mr Cruddas said.
But Romford MP Andrew Rosindell backed the prime minster and said the decision was not for political reasons.
“She wasn’t prime minster at the time of the elections and she’s seeking her own mandate,” he said.
“We don’t have a strong majority or most importantly a clear five-years to get the very best negotiation with the EU.
“If she just pops in, the European Union will play games and we could end up with something we don’t want.
“With a clear five years ahead she’s not under pressure and won’t have a tiny majority to put in obstacles to prevent her doing what she wants to do.
A spokeswoman for Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson said she also backs the prime minister, although she has announced plans to step down.
Out of 102 voters who took part in a Recorder poll, 59 per cent agreed with the decision to hold a snap general election as opposed to 31pc who said no and 10pc who were unsure.
Sixty-eight per cent plan to vote the same as they did in 2015’s election, and 50pc say they will vote Conservative, 25pc Labour, 11pc Lib Dems and 4pc Ukip.