‘What a mess’: calls for general election following Liz Truss’ resignation - What Keir Starmer and others said

Political leaders from all the main opposition parties have calling for a general election

Opposition parties are calling for a general election following the prime minister’s announcement that she will step down following a brief Conservative leadership election.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the public “deserve so much better than this” and called for a general election immediately, while Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said an election is a “democratic imperative”.

In her speech outside Downing Street earlier, Truss said that she had agreed with the head of the 1922 committee a process to find her successor which would conclude in a week, with reports that voting by Conservative members could take place online next week.

There have been reports that Boris Johnson is likely to put himself forward in the contest, while Suella Braverman is also thought to be considering a bid.

‘We need a general election - now’

Sir Keir Starmer has called for an immediate general election in the wake of Liz Truss’s resignation. The Labour leader said: “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern.

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos,” he said.

“In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis. Now, they have crashed the economy so badly that people are facing £500 a month extra on their mortgages. The damage they have done will take years to fix.

“Each one of these crises was made in Downing Street but paid for by the British public. Each one has left our country weaker and worse off.

“The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people. They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.

“The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. They must have the chance to compare the Tories’ chaos with Labour’s plans to sort out their mess, grow the economy for working people and rebuild the country for a fairer, greener future. We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now.”

Following weeks of turmoil which culminated in a fractious vote in the commons last night over a Labour motion on banning fracking, Liz Truss announced her intention to stand down following a short Conservative leadership election.

Speaking after her announcement, Starmer said: “What a mess, this is not just a soap opera at the top of the Tory party, it’s doing huge damage to our economy and to the reputation of our country.

“The public are paying with higher prices, with higher mortgages, so we can’t have a revolving door of chaos.

“We can’t have another experiment at the top of the Tory party. There is an alternative and that’s a stable Labour government and the public are entitled to have their say and that’s why there should be a general election.”

‘A democratice imperative’

Devolved leaders and the heads of the main opposition parties have also called for an election.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a general election is a “democratic imperative” after the resignation of the Prime Minister.

“There are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately,” the First Minister said on Twitter. It’s beyond hyperbole – & parody. Reality tho is that ordinary people are paying the price. The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now.

She added: “A general election is now a democratic imperative.”

Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales said there has been a “complete and utter failure of government,” and said a general election is “the only way forward for the country”.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has also called for a general election following the Prime Minister’s resignation.

He Tweeted: “We don’t need another Conservative Prime Minister lurching from crisis to crisis. We need a General Election now and the Conservatives out of power.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price and Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said in a joint statement: “This chaotic circus is proof once and for all that Westminster will never work for Wales. Only Plaid Cymru can offer the communities of Wales a better future.

“Another prime minister gone but there is still no recognition that it’s not the individuals in Downing Street that’s the problem, but the fundamental contradictions within the Tory party as a whole. Brexit lies created a vacuum of accountability in Westminster – and allowed talentless zealots to seize the reins of power without an inkling how to use them. People in Wales are looking aghast at the chaos after being lectured for years that we need Westminster to survive.

“We urgently need a General Election so that the people of Wales can reject this Westminster chaos at the ballot box. There is a duty now on Welsh Conservative MPs to recognise that their Government’s time is up. Unless they do so, this disgraceful chaos will drag on indefinitely.”