A LOCAL MP has hit out at Jeremy Corbyn for not backing a general election.

Ranil Jayawardena, MP for North East Hampshire and Vice Chair of the Conservative Party, voted in favour of calling an early general election on Wednesday night.

He accused Mr Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, of “running scared because he knows the country has seen through his neomarxist economics and the pretence that Labour respects the result of the referendum”.

“Corbyn has been calling for an election for years,” he told the Gazette.

MPs voted by 298-56 in order to go to the polls early – although the motion failed because it needed the support of two thirds of the House.

Labour and the SNP abstained from the vote, whilst the Liberal Democrats voted against calling a snap election.

Mr Jayawardena continued: “The Prime Minister pledged to deliver Brexit by 31st October so that we can come together again as a country, boost the NHS, improve education, and turbocharge the economy.

“But we cannot negotiate a good deal with the EU without being willing to walk away – yet that is exactly what MPs voted to stop the government doing on Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Labour said their main priority was to block a “damaging no-deal Brexit”, saying that they did not trust Prime Minister Boris Johnson to set an election date before the Brexit deadline.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC on Thursday morning that as soon as the Bill blocking no-deal has gained royal assent and forced the PM to seek an extension to Article 50, his party would back an early election.

Mr Corbyn told MPs on Wednesday night:  "Let this bill pass and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out."

Meanwhile, the Bill is set to pass the House of Lords today, gain Royal Assent on Monday, and then MPs will get another vote on an election, according to the government.