11:07AM, Tuesday 18 April 2017
Theresa May has called a snap General Election for Thursday, June 8.
The Prime Minister made the announcement in a surprise statement outside Downing Street this morning.
She said the nation needs strong and stable leadership following the outcome of the EU referendum.
She had previously said she would not call a snap election, but Mrs May said today she had only 'recently and reluctantly' come to the decision to call one.
She added: "At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity in Westminster but instead there is division.
"The country is coming together but Westminster is not."
The Maidenhead MP will put a motion forward in the House of Commons tomorrow to call an election.
Follow this blog for the latest updates and reaction:
Maidenhead Labour has released a statement:
"The Labour Party welcomes the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
"Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
"In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.
"Candidate selection is now under way following which we will launch Labour's campaign in Maidenhead."
Thursday, April 20, 10.36am:
Slough's Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart has confirmed this morning she will not be standing for re-election in June.
You will need to register by May 22 if you want to vote in this General Election.
The Royal Borough has published more details on what you need to do on its website.
Slough's Fiona Mactaggart was one of just 13 MPs to vote against an early General Election in the House of Commons this afternoon.
We are yet to receive confirmation about why she voted against it.
Royal Borough councillor Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) has confirmed Tony Hill will again run as the Lib Dem candidate in Maidenhead, having previously run in 2015 and 2010.
He said: “Our position is, Maidenhead voted remain in the referendum and every vote for a Lib Dem is a warning — stay away from hard Brexit.
“People want to stay in the single market.
“I think we are going to do incredibly well.”
MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding the General Election, with 522 saying yes and just 13 saying no.
Theresa May has released a statement to the Maidenhead Advertiser. It reads as follows:
"Having looked at the circumstances, it became clear to me that we need this election now to deliver the long-term stability the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.
"Looking ahead at the process of negotiation, I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible so that we can deliver the best deal for Britain.
"What I hope comes out of the election is support from those in my own constituency, and across the country, so that when I go to Europe, I’ve got that backing from the British people.
"This Government has shown we have a plan for Britain and I hope people will put their trust in the Conservative party to take forward what we’ve started and to make sure we get the stability, certainty and leadership we need for the future."
A spokesman for Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve QC confirmed that he will be standing again but we are yet to get any official word from Windsor MP Adam Afriyie or Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart.
Wednesday, April 19, 11.41am:
Slough Borough Council leader Sohail Munawar (Lab, Elliman) has welcomed the news of the election.
In a statement, he said: "This election offers the country a real alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild our economy, overseen falling living standards, delivered devastating cuts to our schools, our NHS, and our local services and left care for the most vulnerable in crisis.
"In Slough we have shown what Labour can do when in government – hundreds of new council homes built, millions invested in new leisure facilities and a flagship library, new and expanded schools for our children and jobs created for our people.
"I and my colleagues will be out campaigning for a Labour government, a government that will rebuild our economy, raise living standards, invest in education and the NHS. A government that works for all."
Labour MP and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson will stand down for this election.
Johnson, who was a postman in Slough for nearly 20 years, will not stand for re-election in his Hull west & Hessle seat.
Watch Theresa May's statement in full:
Just a reminder that the House of Commons will need to vote to call the election with a two-thirds majority (although this is almost certain). Parliament is likely to be dissolved in early May.
Theresa May's decision has the backing of her predecessor:
If you're not already registered to vote, you can sign up here.
Richard Fagence, secretary of the East Berkshire Liberal Democrats, said: “Theresa May says the country is coming together but Westminster is not.
“The country is not coming together. It’s as divided as it ever has been.
“She says it’s in the interests of the British people to hold an election. No it isn’t, it’s in the interests of the British Conservatives.
“It’s a very dangerous move. If she doesn’t achieve the sort of majority she is hoping for where do we go from there?”
Mr Fagence added that the Liberal Democrats will confirm its candidate to contest the parliamentary seat in Windsor in ‘the next few days’.
He said: “People are open to change, whether there will be enough people in Windsor open to it we will have to see.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corybn has released a statement:
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Borough has a major announcement of its own (although it has been somewhat gazumped by today's news)
Tony Hill, who ran as a candidate in the 2015 General Election for the Liberal Democrats said he would be ‘fighting tooth and nail for whoever is running for Parliament' in the party.
He said he would be putting himself forward, but said he had to be formally chosen by the party.
The controversial leader of 'men's rights' party Justice for Men and Boys (And The Women Who Love Them), who announced in September he intended to stand against Theresa May at the next election, will not, in fact, be standing.
Mike Buchanan told our reporter he will be speaking at the second International Conference on Men’s Issues in Australia on the day of the election.
Theresa May was a very visible presence in her constituency this weekend...
Leader of the Royal Borough, Cllr Simon Dudley said: “In my view, there is no doubting the country needs strong and stable leadership as it moves forward with exiting the EU.
"If we take the Conservative message to the country I am hopeful we can deliver a fantastic outcome.
"If there is a general election I will be working flat out.
"I will be certainly be getting my walking boots."
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has released an official statement:
"This election is your chance to change the direction of our country.
"If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
"Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority."
A spokesman for Maidenhead Labour said: "It's something we’ve been expecting for a while and we’ll look forward to getting out and doing some campaigning."
This is how things finished in the 2015 election in Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough.
...and our reporter seems to have broken some news to Maidenhead Labour.
Immediate reaction from Conservative Royal Borough council leader Simon Dudley:
I hope we will soon have the opportunity to campaign for the strong decisive government and majority our country deserves @theresa_may— Simon Dudley (@MrSimonDudley) April 18, 2017
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