Labour MP Emily Thornberry calls for general election but warns Tories ‘don’t give up power easily’

Emily Thornberry speaks during the PinkNews Awards 2022.

Labour MP Emily Thornberry has called for a general election to help bring back “confidence” in UK parliament.

The shadow attorney general told guests at the PinkNews Awards 2022 on Wednesday (19 October) that the only way for citizens to “have any confidence” would be “to have a new government”.

The PinkNews Awards 2022 is supported by joint headline sponsors Lloyds Banking Group and United Airlines.

“I think we should have a general election,” Thornberry said.

“I think the only way in which the markets and everyone else can have any confidence in a government, is to have a new government. I think that should be a Labour government.

“The bottom and top of it, unfortunately, is that [the Conservatives] were given an 80-seat majority at the last election, so they are entitled to remain in power for four years.

“My experience in life tells me that they don’t give up power easily.”

Emily Thornberry heads a charity auction during the PinkNews Awards 2022.

The MP wants Labour to ban conversion therapy for trans and non-binary people. (PinkNews Awards)

The awards ceremony came at a time of increased political turmoil within Westminster as Suella Braverman resigned as home secretary, just hours before the event began.

Many of the politicians attending the event rushed from parliament due to the chaos unfolding, with Conservative MP Caroline Nokes joking: “If every other politician in the room thinks they’ve had a s**t night, they should try being me.”

The latest wave of resignations came to a head as Liz Truss announced her resignation as prime minister the following day on Thursday (20 October).

Since then, others joined Emily Thornberry in calling for a general election, as Conservative began to move ahead with selecting a new leader in the next seven days.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said that there “are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately”, adding an election is a “democratic imperative”.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Keir Starmer said the general election would be vital “after 12 years of Tory failure”.

If elected, Emily Thornberry said Labour should focus on banning conversion therapy for trans and non-binary people.

“I think [the Conservative government] play very dangerous games because they don’t care,” Thornberry added. “I think they should care.

“We’re talking about one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our community and they deserve to be protected, and I think it is unforgivable for politicians to play games like this.”

When asked about the situation in parliament, Thornberry said she had “no idea what the hell is going on tonight”.

“I’ve been away from my phone for twenty minutes, who knows who’s resigned since then.”