Rishi Sunak announces July 4 General Election, citing economic recovery and global security concerns

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issues a statement outside 10 Downing Street, London, after calling a General Election for July 4. Picture date: Wednesday May 22, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)

Rishi Sunak has announced a General Election for July 4, declaring it "the moment for Britain to choose its future".

The Prime Minister is betting on improved inflation figures and a recovering economy to help him close the gap with Labour's 20-point lead in the opinion polls.

Highlighting key issues, Mr Sunak stated: "This election will take place at time when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War."

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He emphasised that these "uncertain times" necessitate a "clear plan".

The decision to hold an election in July took many in Westminster by surprise, as there had been widespread speculation about an October or November election.

The announcement followed the Office for National Statistics' report that Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell to 2.3% in April, down from 3.2% in March, which Mr Sunak hailed as a "major milestone", signifying that inflation is "back to normal" levels.

There was speculation that the election might be delayed to allow Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to present another tax-cutting budget before the vote. However, official figures showed that borrowing in April exceeded expectations, reaching £20.5 billion, indicating limited room for pre-election financial manoeuvres.