Cameron says ‘right’ for election to be later in year and denies wanting PM job

Lord David Cameron said it would be “absolutely right” for the general election to be held in the second half of the year, while denying he was after Rishi Sunak’s job.

The Foreign Secretary argued voters should be given more time to see “the plan is working”.

Pressed on what advice he would give the Prime Minister in the wake of the Tories’ mauling in local and regional contests, the Tory peer told Sky News’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: “I’d say to him ‘stick to the plan’. I think the Prime Minister is a good man doing a great job at a difficult time.”

He pointed to official figures this week showing gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have risen by 0.6% over the first quarter of 2024, following two quarters of decline last year.

“And you’ve got this situation now where you can see inflation coming down, I think interest rates are going to come down, taxes are coming down, the economy is growing.

“And I think you’ve got a very clear choice opening up, and that’s what happens as you get to the end of a parliament. It stops being a referendum on the Government every day and it starts being a choice between two teams.

“The longer actually we have between now and the election, the more you’re going to see the plan is working.”

David Cameron quit as prime minister after the 2016 Brexit result and resigned as an MP three months later (Hannah McKay/PA)

Asked about election timing, Lord Cameron said: “He said second half of the year and I think that’s absolutely right because you can see the economic plan is working.”

Presenter Sir Trevor asked the former prime minister about the prospect of a possible return to Downing Street to help the Conservative Party reverse its electoral fortunes as it languishes in the polls.

Lord Cameron replied: “No, no. I am now Foreign Secretary. I sit in the House of Lords. I’m not in the House of Commons. I’m part of Rishi’s team.

“That is what I’m interested in doing. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

Mr Sunak is “definitely” the right person to be leading the party, he insisted.