• Monday, June 17, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

PM Sunak calls for general election on July 4

The Tory leader’s announcement put an end to months of speculation as to when he would call the polls, particularly when his party is facing challenges on various fronts.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak (Photo by CARL COURT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

PRIME MINISTER Rishi Sunak on Wednesday (22) called for a general election to take place on July 4. The Conservative leader’s announcement came after economic data revealed a fall in inflation closer to the British central bank’s two per cent target earlier in the day.

Speaking at a news conference outside Downing Street, Sunak said he spoke with the king earlier in the day seeking dissolution of the parliament and that the latter granted the request.

He then said that the general election will be held on July 4, which is a Thursday.

Read: Starmer cooks up tandoori salmon on TV cookery show

The Tory leader’s announcement put an end to months of speculation as to when he would call the polls, particularly when his party is facing challenges on various fronts.

https://x.com/RishiSunak/status/1793315552661794830

The 44-year-old prime minister, who is yet to complete two years in office, said he was calling the polls earlier than some had expected, a strategy that could prove to be risky particularly with his party trailing in the surveys.

Read: Contaminated blood scandal: Sunak offers apology to thousands

The prime minister, the UK’s first of Asian origin, is also isolated somewhat in his own party as he announced the polling dates. Sunak is increasingly dependent on a small team of advisers to help him brave what could be an ugly campaign, a Reuters report said.

Nevertheless, Sunak has put up a brave face.

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future,” the PM said, listing what he considers to be the high points of his time in office, including the introduction of the so-called furlough scheme that helped businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

One reason why the announcement came the day data from the Office for National Statistics showed the UK’s inflation coming down to 2.3 per cent in April is that the ruling party had been expecting the economic environment to get better to boost its pre-poll prospects.

Touching upon the economic aspect, the PM called economic stability as the bedrock of any future success and asserted that the UK economy is now growing stronger faster than anyone predicted.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who is seeking a revival for his party, circulated a campaign video on X appealing to the voters to back his party, which pledges “to serve working people as you drive our country forward, with economic stability at the forefront of everything we do.”

https://x.com/Keir_Starmer/status/1793315231147405811

Liberal Democrats Party leader Ed Davey said on the social media platform, “People across the UK are crying out for change, and this election is finally our chance to make it happen.”

https://x.com/EdwardJDavey/status/1793315179242893766

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