Political opinion: Rishi Sunak must call a general election now

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The public have spoken. It's time for a general election and it's time for a fresh start for our country.

On Friday afternoon I stood bleary-eyed and extremely tired in Benham Sports Centre, waiting for the results of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections. After months of campaigning, a long polling day, and a night of vote verification, I still couldn't call the result. Our data suggested that we had just made it and that Danielle Stone would be elected. But could we really overturn a majority of around 50,000 votes? Was the Conservative hold on every major elected position in Northamptonshire finally coming to an end?

At 4:28 pm on Friday, May 3rd, we found out the answer.

The people of Northamptonshire had used their voice to send a message. That they wouldn't stand for misogyny, cronyism and allegtions that stretched all the way through from the local conservatives to 10 Downing Street. They wanted a fresh start. They wanted honesty, decency and a focus on public service from their elected officials.

Mike Reader at community meetingMike Reader at community meeting
Mike Reader at community meeting

And, to achieve that, they voted Labour.

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The Conservatives felt that they were entitled to victory here. They thought that they could avoid scrutiny by not attending hustings, that they could avoid voters on the doors by not canvassing and that despite weak leadership and a lack of trust in politicians, people would just vote Conservative because they always have done.

We ran a completely different campaign. We were grounded in the priorities of the people that Danielle now represents in Northamptonshire. We spent time listening and seeking feedback from local groups and individuals on the doorstep. We spent time learning from other police commissioners and policy experts across the country and the results speak for themselves. Danielle Stone ran a positive campaign that set out clear priorities and ambitious goals for the county. People supported her because they had helped shape her vision.

The people of Northampton have had enough of 14 years of decline and Conservative mismanagement. It has cost them personally, and their families, and their communities. They are fed up with the chaos, the division and the non-delivery. They want to turn the page, turn their back on that decline and usher in a decade of national renewal with Labour.


The message received from these elections is clear. The people of this country want change.

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I hope that Rishi Sunak is listening. It's time for him to stop putting his own ambitions before the public. Call a general election and give the people of this country an opportunity to have their say.