The Independent launches petition to demand a General Election now

The Independent has become the first major national publication to call for an early General Election, as it reacted to the policy U-turns and turmoil of recent weeks.

An editorial published by The Independent stated that  “Britain cannot go on like this. We call for an election – now”. It argues that the constant changes of policy and personnel at the top of government lack democratic legitimacy and that it is time for the people to have their say.  

The campaign has been accompanied by a new public petition, calling on readers to stand with The Independent in calling for democratic accountability. Since the petition was launched it has received almost 20 thousand signatures. Readers are also tweeting with the hashtag #generalelectionnow to support the campaign.

The petition comes as several key political figures, including writer and broadcaster Alistair Campbell and Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson MP, recently contributed pieces calling for an election to The Independent. It builds on The Independent’s long and storied history as a campaigning newspaper, from its opposition to the Iraq War and support for Syrian refugees to its commitment to climate journalism and the Final Say campaign for a second referendum on Brexit which garnered almost 1.5m signatures.

Launching the petition calling for a general election, David Marley, the Independent’s Acting Editor, said “Here at The Independent we believe that if Ms Truss wants to stay on as prime minister, she must put her case to the British people. If her MPs want to replace her as prime minister, whoever replaces her must do likewise. There are, as new chancellor Jeremy Hunt admits, “eye-wateringly” tough decisions to be made in the budget at the end of this month. There will be more to follow.

“These are questions that should be decided in a general election, not in the strange bubble of another Conservative leadership election. And for this reason we are calling for a general election to be held.

“It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election.”

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