I AM astonished that Braintree MP James Cleverly (Times, October 31) welcomes the announcement of the forthcoming General Election.

This General Election gives voters a chance to evaluate what nine years of Conservative Government have done to this country.

Here are just a few examples: an increase in child poverty; local government cut to the bone; the NHS at breaking point; overcrowded and dangerous prisons; underfunded schools; the proliferation of zero-hours contracts; a deliberately hostile environment for the poor and vulnerable; a chaotic and unnecessary referendum which has left people bewildered, angry and divided; a foreign policy which has left us the laughing stock of the world; and tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the land.

As for the police, practically the only time one sees a serving officer in Witham is when the Home Secretary is in town for a photo opportunity.

Mr Cleverly appears to have a high opinion of the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

Is he simply unaware of how unsuitable this man is for high office, or is he just turning a blind eye in order to be able to retain his position as Tory Party chairman?

Perhaps Mr Cleverly does not realise that Mr Johnson was aware of financial irregularities in the campaign to leave the EU, but kept quiet about them.

Perhaps Mr Cleverly can offer an explanation for the PM’s reluctance to publish a parliamentary report which outlines recent Russian interference in our democratic systems.

The choice for voters in this election is stark.

The Conservatives, along with their former Lib Dem coalition partners, have brought this country to its knees.

If voters want an NHS and good public services, along with a solution to Brexit which stands a chance of uniting the country, then they must vote Labour.

David Martin

Bridge Street, Witham

Editors note: This letter was written before Parliament was dissolved on Tuesday. Mr Cleverly will be standing as the Conservative's Parliamentary candidate for Braintree and will be up against Labour's Joshua Garfield, Liberal Democrat Dom Graham, Samual Cowie of the Brexit Party and Independent Jo Beavis.