Phill Roberts writes in the local papers:
Conservative MPs have selected Theresa May as our next Prime Minister without any democratic vote. I’m sure many will be concerned that a Prime Minister can be chosen by a few members of Parliament without a general election.
Following the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act a general election can only be called in exceptional circumstances by two thirds of MPs or if a budget fails to get approval by Parliament.
The need to change the policies set out in the Conservative manifesto to meet the changing circumstances following the Brexit vote clearly satisfies the test of exceptional circumstances, however we will have to wait and see if two thirds of MPs vote for a General Election.
Although many will be outraged at the prospect of not having a vote or say in who will be our next Prime Minister, there is recent precedent set by the Labour Party, when they chose Gordon Brown to be our Prime Minister.
At the time Theresa May called for a General Election and baited the Labour Party that they were scared to call a General Election. Now we have Theresa May stating that she will not call an early election and the Labour Party once again in the midst of its own election for a more presentable, electable leader.
In the interests of democracy and the need to have a Parliament that reflects the wishes and interests of the country post Brexit, rather than the self interest of any political party there should be a General Election.
Only a new Parliament will have a mandate to negotiate a New Deal with Europe that recognises the wishes of the 51.8% who voted to Leave and the 48.2% who voted to remain.
(Copeland & Workington Liberal Democrats)