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Election 2017: Ilford South’s ‘mystic Mike’ Gapes predicted the surprise poll last year

PUBLISHED: 16:23 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 19 April 2017

Ilford South Labour MP Mike Gapes speaks at a march to save King George Hospital's A&E, on 18th March 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Ilford South Labour MP Mike Gapes speaks at a march to save King George Hospital's A&E, on 18th March 2017. Picture: Catherine Davison

Catherine Davison/Archant

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes called himself “mystic Mike” after he correctly predicted Theresa May would call an election months ago.

The prime minister announced the surprise poll for June 8 yesterday, and Parliament have since voted for the election.

“I said it was because she wouldn’t want an election in 2020 just after we have left the European Union [EU], she would want to push that election back to 2022,” Mr Gapes told the Recorder.

“This is about internal party management,” the Labour MP declared.

Mr Gapes was reelected to Ilford South, the seat he has held since 1992, in 2015 with more than 60 per cent of the vote.

And he said he was confident he would retain his seat, despite the low approval ratings of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“All elections are decided locally,” Mr Gapes said.

“I will be standing on my own personal record.”

The veteran backbencher did say he thought Mr Corbyn should consider his position if Labour did not perform well: “The precedent is there.”

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