Rishi Sunak on election footing as he tells voters to trust Tories to keep them safe

Rishi Sunak on Monday set out his election stall to Britain’s voters saying “trust me to keep you and your family safe” as he warned of “real and increasing dangers” facing the nation.

With the election drumbeat growing ever louder, the Prime Minister painted a worrying picture, twice raising the prospect of a nuclear-level threat.

But at the same time he stressed the opportunities for dramatic positive developments, significantly due to artificial intelligence, including a “generational breakthrough” in the battle against cancer.

In a speech in central London, Mr Sunak sought to brush off Labour claims of 14 years of Tory failure and instead portray his party as best placed to lead Britain into the “future”.

He said: “The dangers that threaten our country are real. They are increasing in number.” On the Ukraine war, he added that “Putin’s recklessness took us closer to a dangerous nuclear escalation than at any point since the Cuban missile crisis [in 1962]”, while there were also growing threats from China and Iran.

He warned that AI offered huge potential for mankind but that there were also threats as “hundreds of leading experts say the risks could be on a par with pandemics or nuclear war”.

Millions of jobs could be affected by the artificial intelligence transformation which could “surpass the Industrial Revolution in speed and breadth”.

World suffering could be eased, with estimates that global productivity could double in the next decade, every child in school in Britain could get their own “personalised tutor” from AI, and the UK could be at the forefront of a “generational breakthrough” against the “cruel disease” of cancer.

Amid the looming years of huge change, Mr Sunak’s key message was: “Above all, you can trust me to keep you and your family safe and secure from the threats we face at home and abroad.”

But his bid to be the party of the “future” will inevitably run into the headwind of the Tories having been in power for so long as he tries to convince voters that his party is best placed to tackle the “intolerable strain on our security” of illegal immigration, suggesting he was ready to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights if necessary, and help people cope with “financial insecurity” in the cost of living crisis.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer was hosting a meeting of Labour mayors from around the country, including Sadiq Khan, to brainstorm their ideas to create the “gold standard” in levelling up all regions of Britain.

The Labour leader was due to say: “Be in no doubt that this is the key choice at the next election: a changed Labour Party that will raise living standards for everyone, everywhere, or more chaos and decline under the Tories who will never be able to match the ambition of this country.”