Things can only get wetter: Sunak soaked as he announces election to Labour song

Things can only get wetter: Sunak soaked as he announces election to Labour song

A soaked Rishi Sunak was drowned out by Labour’s 1997 general election anthem as he announced a July 4 poll on a wet afternoon in Downing Street.

Heavy rain poured down on the Prime Minister, who spoke from a lectern outside No 10 without an umbrella as Westminster was hit by heavy downpours.

Mr Sunak, wearing a suit with a light blue tie, became increasingly soaked during the speech – which began at around 5.15pm on Wednesday.

A loudspeaker could be heard playing D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better – associated with Labour’s 1997 general election victory – during the announcement.

The speaker was also used by a man to shout obscenities about the Conservatives during the speech.

The Prime Minister’s media team increased Mr Sunak’s speaker audio within Downing Street to try and drown out the loudspeaker during his announcement, but with limited success.

Mr Sunak faced an assortment of umbrellas as the world’s media battled downpours to broadcast his speech.

The media presence in Downing Street built up throughout Wednesday as rumours about an imminent announcement swirled on a rainy day in Westminster.

General Election announcement
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issues a statement outside 10 Downing Street (Lucy North/PA)

Asked by the media before Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting if an election was about to called, Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride joked: “Too much rain.”

As Cabinet ministers left Number 10 following Mr Sunak’s speech, outgoing Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris was asked if the Conservatives were going to win the election and replied: “Of course.”

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office staff gathered outside their offices to watch the historic announcement by Mr Sunak through a side passage of Downing Street.

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.