Call for a general election immediately to rid Stratford of its "lame duck" MP - The Leamington Observer

Call for a general election immediately to rid Stratford of its "lame duck" MP

A GENERAL election should be called immediately to rid Stratford of its ‘lame duck’ MP.

That’s the view of prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Manuela Perteghella after Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi’s shock announcement last week that he would not be standing at the next general election.

Ms Perteghella, who says she intends to be the constituency’s first Lib Dem MP, told the Observer that Stratford-on-Avon deserved better than a “self-serving absentee MP” for what could be the next seven or eight months and a general election should be called now.

She continued: “Stratford needs and deserves an MP who works hard for constituents, will speak for them at Westminster and who has strong ties to the area, as I have as a local district councillor and school governor.

“I’m being told every day on the doorstep that people are tired of being taken for granted. They want change and they deserve it. They desperately need a local champion who will stand up for them and give them a voice.

“Local people are fed up with Tory incompetence, disillusioned by the sleaze and selfishness, and tired of the crippling effects of the cost of living crisis. They are fed up with constant price rises, resigned to not being able to get an NHS dentist’s appointment and angry about sewage in our rivers.

“Stratford voters are fed up with the Tories. We all deserve better.”

Highlighting last year’s Stratford District Council elections which gave a victory to the Lib Dems, Ms Perteghella continued it proved the Conservatives could be beaten in Stratford.

She added: “Labour won no seats at all and has zero chance of winning. Call a general election now and give the people of Stratford-on-Avon a choice.”

Mr Zahawi said in a letter published on X (formerly Twitter) last week that the time was right for a “new, energetic Conservative” to fight for the honour of representing Stratford-on-Avon constituency.

The former chancellor, who has been Stratford MP since 2010, has faced criticism from his constituents and been mired in controversy over his tax affairs, which led to his sacking as a minister after being found to have breached the ministerial code.

And a petition was launched last month by residents demanding the Stratford Conservative Association de-select Mr Zahawi as their parliamentary candidate following recent “controversies”.

This included his tax affairs, expenses claims for his energy bills and, it is claimed, for not working for the local interest.

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