General Election: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces July 4 election after months of speculation

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The “uncertain times” call for a “clear plan”, he said.

Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for July 4, saying it was “the moment for Britain to choose its future”.

The Prime Minister has gambled that improved inflation figures and a recovering economy will help him overturn Labour’s 20-point opinion poll lead.

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In a sign that security and the economy will be key battlegrounds, Mr Sunak said: “This election will take place at time when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War.”

Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for July 4 (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for July 4 (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for July 4 (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) | Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The “uncertain times” call for a “clear plan”, he said.

A July election is earlier than many in Westminster had expected, with a contest in October or November widely thought to have been more likely.

Mr Sunak’s announcement came after the Office for National Statistics said Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation slowed to 2.3% in April, down from 3.2% in March.

He said that was a “major milestone” for the country, with inflation now “back to normal” levels.

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Mr Sunak said the election would be a question of trust (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)Mr Sunak said the election would be a question of trust (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Mr Sunak said the election would be a question of trust (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) | Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

One reason for delaying might have been to allow Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to deliver another tax-cutting financial statement in the lead-up to the vote, but official figures revealed borrowing for April overshot forecasts, hitting £20.5 billion, suggesting he would have had limited scope for pre-election giveaways.

Mr Sunak had to contend with New Labour anthem Things Can Only Get Better being played from beyond the gates to Downing Street.

Speaking from a lectern in the street despite the rain, Mr Sunak said the election would be a question of trust, warning that the British people could not believe any promise made by Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Sunak said he had restored “hard-earned economic stability”.

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Mr Sunak said he would “fight every vote and “earn your trust” (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)Mr Sunak said he would “fight every vote and “earn your trust” (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Mr Sunak said he would “fight every vote and “earn your trust” (Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) | Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

“The question now is how and who do you trust to turn that foundation into a secure future for you, your family and our country.”

He added: “On July 5, either Sir 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 Labour 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?

“If you don’t have the conviction, to stick to anything you say, if you don’t have the courage to tell people what you want to do and if you don’t have a plan, how can you possibly be trusted to lead our country, especially at this most uncertain of times?”

Mr Sunak said he would “fight every vote and “earn your trust”, promising to “restore pride and confidence in our country”.

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