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02nd Oct 2022

Petition calling for an early general election approaches 400,000 signatures

Jack Peat

‘This is the greatest set of challenges we have seen in our lifetimes’

A petition calling for an immediate general election following the economic fallout of the government’s mini-budget is nearing 400,000 signatures.

The Conservative Party will convene in Birmingham this week for their annual conference on the back of widespread discontent with their policies.

A tax-slashing mini-budget from the Chancellor has plunged the markets into turmoil, leading sterling to crash to an all-time low and the Bank of England having to intervene to stop pension funds from facing insolvency.

A petition set up calling for an immediate general election passed 100,000 signatures within a few days of its conception, meaning it must be considered for debate in parliament.

This was confirmed in an update on the campaign’s page, which simply reads: “Parliament will consider this for a debate.”

At the time of writing, the petition has amassed 394,106 signatures.

The petition reads: “The chaos engulfing the UK government is unprecedented.

“Over 40 ministers resigned leaving departments without leadership during cost of living, energy and climate crises.

“War rages in Ukraine; the Northern Ireland Protocol has further damaged our relationship with Europe; recession looms; the UK itself may cease to exist as Scotland seeks independence.

“This is the greatest set of challenges we have seen in our lifetimes. Let the people decide who leads us through this turmoil.”

It adds: “Call an immediate general election so that the people can decide who should lead us through these unprecedented crises threatening the UK.”

According to UK rules, petitions that reach 10,000 signatures get a response from the government, while those with 100,000 signatures are considered for debate in Parliament.

Unsurprisingly though, the government has given it short shrift.

In response to the petition reaching 10,000 signatures, the government said: “The United Kingdom is a Parliamentary democracy, not a Presidential one.

“Following the general election of December 2019, Members of Parliament of the governing party (the Conservative Party) were elected, such that there is a majority in the House of Commons. This remains the case.

“A change in the leader of the governing party does not trigger a general election – this has been the case under governments of successive political colours.

“In her speech of 6 September 2022, the new Prime Minister set out three early priorities: to grow Britain’s economy, deal with the energy crisis caused by Putin’s war, and putting the national health service on a firm footing.

“The Prime Minister is determined to address the challenges the country faces and ensure opportunity and prosperity for all people and future generations.”