UK general election set for July 4; Rishi Sunak to face voters for first time as PM | World News - Hindustan Times
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UK general election set for July 4; Rishi Sunak to face voters for first time as PM

May 22, 2024 10:02 PM IST

Political editors at the BBC, ITV, Sky News and The Guardian all said Rishi Sunak would name the date in a Downing Street statement after the cabinet meeting.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday called for the general election in the UK on July 4 after holding a cabinet meeting.

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks in Downing Street in London about the latest inflation figures.(via REUTERS)
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks in Downing Street in London about the latest inflation figures.(via REUTERS)

"Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future," he announced standing outside his Downing Street office.

Sunak listed what he considers to be the highlights of his time in government, including the introduction of the so-called furlough scheme that helped businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We will have a general election on July 4."

Read: UK inflation rate slows to 2.3% in April

Major news outlets, including the BBC, ITV, Sky News, and The Guardian, earlier indicated that Sunak was expected to announce the election date in an official Downing Street statement following the Cabinet meeting.

The rumour mill went into overdrive when Foreign Secretary David Cameron was abruptly recalled from a trip to Albania, and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps postponed a trip to Eastern Europe to attend the crucial Cabinet meeting.

Read: Manisha Koirala poses with Rishi Sunak at his London home

The United Kingdom is constitutionally required to hold a national election by January 2025 and Prime Minister Sunak has repeatedly said it would take place in the latter half of 2024.

Earlier today, responding to a lawmaker's inquiry about a possible summer vote, Sunak said, “Spoiler alert: There is going to be a general election in the second half of this year.”

This election marks the first time Sunak, 44, will face the electorate as Prime Minister. He was appointed leader of the Conservative Party in October 2022 after an internal vote. This upcoming vote will be the third general election since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Read: Sunak faces revolt over plans to scrap post-study visa: Report

Pre-poll surveys suggest that Conservatives are widely expected to lose to the opposition Labour Party after 14 years in power.

Labour said before the announcement it was more than ready for an election.

"We are fully ready to go whenever the prime minister calls an election. We have a fully organised and operational campaign ready to go and we think the country is crying out for a general election," Labour leader Starmer's spokesperson told reporters.

With inputs from agencies

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