Editor-in-Chief Tom Leaman reports on Parliament’s vote to approve a general election on Thursday 12th December
On Tuesday 29th October, Parliament approved a general election which will take place on Thursday 12th December. The bill is expected to clear the House of Lords by the end of this week. The legislation passed by 438 votes to 20.
Parliament’s vote to hold a general election follows the European Union’s agreement to extend the Brexit deadline to January 31st 2020 – a deadline Donald Tusk said ‘may be the last one.’
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had previously tried on three occasions to get Parliament’s approval for an early election due to his loss of a Conservative majority in Parliament, which had prevented him from pushing through a Brexit deal or leaving the European Union without one.
After the legislation passed the House of Commons, Johnson said that the public ‘must be given a choice’ in the future of Brexit and the country. He also said that it is time for the country to ‘come together and get Brexit done.’
In a video posted on Twitter on October 30th, Johnson reaffirmed the Conservatives’ aim to ‘energise the country with better education, better infrastructure, more police [and] fantastic full-fibre broadband.’
Let’s take our country forward and deliver on the people’s priorities 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/bRTWy3Iyt9
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 30, 2019
The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, responded to Parliament’s approval of the election by saying: ‘This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back.
‘We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change that our country has ever seen. This is our chance to build a country for the many not the few and fit for the next generation.’
The election will give students at the University of Birmingham a chance to vote to elect either an MP in the constituency of their student house or an MP for their home constituency (if they have registered to vote by Monday 25th November).
For many, this will mean students will be able to vote for the next MP of Selly Oak, Ladywood or Edgbaston. Currently, all three are represented by Labour in the House of Commons by Steve McCabe, Shabana Mahmood and Preet Kaur Gill respectively.
On Twitter, Gill responded to Parliament’s vote for an election by saying: ‘A general election will now take place on 12/12/19 because Johnson has failed to deliver #Brexit – time for a people’s vote with #Labour.’
— Preet Kaur Gill MP (@PreetKGillMP) October 29, 2019
On Facebook, the President of the Guild of Students, Joshua Williams, said: A General Election is around the corner. It’s incredibly important that you register to vote to ensure that your voice is heard! Keep the 12th December in your calendar!
‘You can register to vote at your home address as well as your University address! In a general election, you can vote in ONE of these locations. You can apply for a proxy vote or a postal vote if you are unable to vote in person.’
Redbrick readers will be able to stay up-to-date with news on the general election in print and online. On November 22nd, News will publish a features page outlining the election in local constituencies. On December 12th, Redbrick and our sister radio station Burn FM will be providing live coverage of the results as they come in.