Parliament has voted to hold an early general election. This is expected to take place on Thursday 8 June.
If you're not registered to vote, you can do so NOW at gov.uk/register-to-vote.
The vote in parliament was needed because the Fixed Term Parliaments Act means that the next general election should not take place until 2020. Theresa May had repeatedly assured us that she wouldn't call an early general election. This week, she went back on her word.
Although she's done so for the benefit of the Conservative party, I voted in favour of the early election. Labour won't deny the country the very earliest opportunity to vote against this miserable government. People in Stretford and Urmston know that things are getting tougher under the Tories: the cost of living's going up, young people can't afford a home of their own, women who expected to be drawing their state pension are being told they'll have to wait. Pressures are building up in the NHS, with long waits for GP appointments and at A&E, and our schools face huge funding pressure and are shedding staff.
Overshadowing everything is the government's mismanagement of the Brexit negotiations. Theresa May doesn't care if her hardline stance means international businesses pull out of the UK, jobs are lost, and the rising cost of importing goods means higher prices in the shops. I simply don't trust her to negotiate a Brexit deal that's in the best interests of our country.
So I will be putting myself forward for re-election, so that people in Stretford and Urmston can be sure they still have a strong voice speaking up for them in parliament - whether it's defending the services we all rely on, speaking up for families struggling to pay the bills, or challenging the government when it brushes aside worries about a hard Brexit. I'll be campaigning hard across the constituency over the coming weeks - and I hope to have the chance to meet and speak to as many of you as possible.