PM Rishi Sunak calls UK General Election

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will go head to head in a General Election in July with the Labour leader clear favourite to lead the next Government. Tony McDonough reports

Starmer, Sunak
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, left, and Tory leader Rishi Sunak, will go head to head in July


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a July UK General Election for the summer.

Following a day of speculation on Wednesday, Mr Sunak stood outside Number 10 Downing Street just after 5pm and announced Britain will go to the polls on July 4. He informed King Charles III that Parliament will be dissolved at the end of May.

Labour, led by Sir Keir Starmer, has long held a big poll lead over his rivals, with most pollsters showing leads of 20 points or more. Indications are strong that Labour will achieve a landslide victory after being out of power since 2010.

In his announcement, the Prime Minster said he is “guided by what is right, not what is easy”. He added: “I can’t say the same thing for the Labour party because I don’t know what they offer. And in truth I don’t think you know either.

“And that’s because they have no plan. There is no bold action. And as a result the future can only be uncertain with them. On July 5, either Keir Starmer or I will be prime minister. He has shown time and time again that he will take the easy way out and do anything to get power.

“If he was happy to abandon all the promises he made to become leader leader once he got the job, how can you know that he won’t do exactly the same thing if he were to become prime minister?”

On Wednesday morning the Government received a rare piece of good economic news when it was revealed that inflation had fallen to 2.3%, its lowest rate for three years. Last year the cost of living hit double figures causing hardship for millions of people.

However, this will be a small crumb of comfort for Mr Sunak. The fall in inflation, though welcomed, was smaller than hoped for. This makes a June interest rate cut less likely keeping the pressure on those trying to pay their mortgages.

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Some in the Conservative Party have urged Mr Sunak to delay the election for as long as possible to give the economy a chance to gather momentum. However, the general feeling is that it would be too little too late.

Speaking shortly after Mr Sunak’s announcement, Mr Starmer said “this a moment the country needs and has been waiting for”. And he added: “Labour will “return Britain to the service of working people.

He said Labour would reverse things such as sewage being pumped into rivers, people waiting for treatment in A&E, and reverse the trend of rising mortgages and food prices.

“I believe with patience and determination we can unlock the potential of the country,” Mr Starmer continued. “The future is in your hands… On July 4, you have a choice. Together we can stop the chaos, turn the page, and we can start to rebuild Britain and change our country.”


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