THE battle lines are being drawn up across Gwent and Wales after the Prime Minister called a general election tonight.

Rishi Sunak braved the rain and blaring music as he stood outside 10 Downing Street to tell the nation he had been the King to request the dissolution of Parliament ahead of an election on July 4.

Within Gwent, there are five local constituencies, Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent. 

Newport East and West, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Islwyn and Blaenau Gwent are all held by Labour, with Jessica Morden and Ruth Jones in Newport, Nick Thomas-Symonds in Torfaen, Chris Evans in Islwyn, Wayne David in Caerphilly and Nick Smith in Blaenau Gwent. The Islwyn seat disappears in the boundary changes, however.

Monmouth, on the other hand, is held by the Conservatives, with Secretary of State for Wales David Davies MP representing the seat. 

The woman trying to unseat him is Labour candidate Catherine Fookes, who posted on social media: "It is time for change, and only Labour will deliver it."

This statement has been reposted or repurposed by others, including Newport East MS John Griffiths, Newport West MP Jess Morden, and Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds.

Meanwhile, the calling of a General Election has been welcomed by Leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister of Wales Vaughan Gething.

He said: “Rishi Sunak has finally come to the same conclusion as the rest of the country, a General Election is needed now.

“People across Wales are calling out for a change of government, an end to Tory chaos and two Labour governments working together for Wales and Britain.”

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens said: “Labour is ready. Ready to highlight 14 years of Conservative failure, and the ways in which they have held Wales back.

“We will make the case on doorsteps across Wales that Keir Starmer’s changed Labour Party can deliver the decade of national renewal our United Kingdom so desperately needs.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a Labour government at both ends of the M4, working together to deliver positive change in people’s day-to-day lives. It’s time for change."

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies MS disagreed. He said: “Keir Starmer says Wales is his blueprint for government, and while the Conservatives are delivering for Wales, Labour’s record in Wales stands as a stark warning to the rest of the United Kingdom.

“We have a Labour First Minister mired in controversy for taking dirty money, for ideologically motivated 20mph speed limits, and for his out of touch plans to spend £120 million on 36 more politicians.  

“Thanks to Labour, Wales has the longest NHS waiting lists in the UK, the lowest employment in the UK, and the worst educational standards in the UK.

“The Welsh Conservatives will take the message to the country that our economic plan is working, and because Labour cannot be trusted to run Wales, they cannot be trusted to run our United Kingdom.”

Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said: "Only a vote for Plaid Cymru will put Wales' best interests first in this election.

"We are ready to take this fight to the London parties to demand the fairness that Wales both needs and deserves.

"The Tories have crashed the economy and hard-working people are still paying the price of high bills. Labour, on the other hand, just take Wales for granted. None of the London parties will put Wales first."

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Jane Dodds MS said: "The Liberal Democrats have always had a proud history of standing up for the interests of people here in Wales, and this will not change.

"This is not only an opportunity to kick the Conservatives out of Westminster but also our chance to send a message to the Welsh Labour government that Wales will not put up with their nonsense for much longer.”

The Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, urged people to show respect and civility during the election, in which he hopes the "needs of the poorest and most marginalised" will be remembered.