Parties scramble to put forth candidates for shock election

Local election count at Chorley Town Hall
Local election count at Chorley Town Hall
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Politicians in Chorley have leapt into action at the Prime Minister’s surprise announcement of another General Election.

But for the incumbant Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, who has held office in the borough since 1997, it has been business as usual.

For many, with the backdrop of Brexit to the election, voters are considering who will lead them through the negotiations with Europe.

Peter Goldworthy, the chairman of the Chorley Conservative Association, argued that the upcoming vote was a “straight choice” between PM Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said he felt his party in Chorley stood a good chance ofwinning the June 8 vote.

“It is clear that Brexit is the most important problem facing our country,” said Mr Goldworthy.

“I do feel that we will get sufficient votes for Chorley.”

Mr Goldworthy, who is a former leader of Chorley Council, told the Guardian that the Conservative party was in the process of selecting a candidate.

Jeff Mallinson, acting secretary for UKIP Chorley & South Ribble also said the party was in the process of candidate selection.

Chorley councillor Ralph Snape is leader of the Independent Group, which also includes his wife Joyce.

He says that although he thinks that May would be the best leader of the country in the face of Brexit he will be backing Hoyle locally.

“It’s quite obvious that Theresa May is a better leader than Jeremy Corbyn,” he said.

“I’ve always supported Labour but Corbyn’s just not coming up with any decent policy which I could support.

“Let me be straight with you, I’ll be supporting Lindsay Hoyle as our MP, he’s the right person for the job.

“I support the person not the party, we are voting for the one who can do the right job for this area.”

Mr Hoyle, who said that the announcement of the General Election did not come as a surprise to him, said: “I’m still doing all my MP work, fulfilling my duties, its business as usual.”

He added that he had been busy in Chorley with county elections and that when Parliment is dissolved on Wednesday, May 3 he will have the chance to “take stock”.

Asked about whether consituents would support May over voting for him because of Corbyn, Mr Hoyle, who voted for Brexit, said: “It’s about putting Chorley and the people of Chorley first.

“The bottom line is it’s about me standing up for the people of Chorley. I have got respect from people from across the borough.

“I put my faith in the people of Chorley.”

Meanwhile prospective candidate for Chorley Liberal Democrats Stephen Fenn told the Guardian that party has seen the membership in Chorley double since their poor result in the 2015 election.

He said: “I think that this increase in membership will be reflected in the election this year and we will see a big increase in the Lib Dem vote in Chorley.

“I believe that we are the only party that are truly committed to opposing the hard Brexit being put forward by the Tories. Although the majority of voters in Chorley voted to leave Europe I think that they are now realising that the hard Brexit is not what they wanted.” Parties will submit candidate nomination papers into Chorley Council and the authorty is set to announce the candidates on May 11.

To register to vote go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote