Haslemere MP Jeremy Hunt has backed the Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call a snap General Election.
In a statement outside No. 10 on Tuesday, the Prime Minister set out her plans to call an election for Thursday, June 8.
Parliament subsequently gave its approval on Wednesday afternoon, meaning the next parliamentary vote will now take place three years earlier than anticipated - and just a month after the Surrey County Council elections, on May 4.
Mrs May, in explaining her reasons for the snap election on Tuesday, said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum.
Responding to the news, Health Secretary Mr Hunt (right) said: “We need to give the Prime Minister the strongest possible negotiating mandate in the important discussions ahead as we leave the EU.
“The deal we get will be vital for our future as a country so this is the time to get behind our strong Prime Minister and let her deliver the best outcome for Britain,” said the Tory who has been South West Surrey’s MP since 2005.
Other political figures across the area have also responded to Mrs May’s shock announcement.
Stewart Edge, chairman of Waverley Liberal Democrats, said: “As Waverley voted 58 per cent to Remain in the EU, we will be working hard locally to show voters the Liberal Democrats are the party to give a voice to their concerns and represent their views.
“The Conservative Government, arrogantly, are presenting themselves as the only party with the national interest at heart.
“We believe their pursuit of a hard Brexit is against the interests of the UK and its citizens and the Government is seeking to minimise any opposition.
“Good democratic government needs good opposition.”
Ex-UKIP leader Diane James, the independent MEP for the South East, who is also a former Waverley councillor, said on Twitter: “Looks like we can expect a General Election every time opinion polls go their way.”
Fellow South East MEP Keith Taylor, of the Green Party, said the vote was the equivalent to a second referendum on Brexit.
He said: “Let’s be clear, this election will be a referendum on Brexit and the best chance we have of stopping Britain committing an act of great self harm.
“As Greens, we will be campaigning on a proudly, loudly pro-European platform.”