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Rishi Sunak announces 4 July general election

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 22 May 2024

Rishi Sunak announces 4 July general election

(Sharecast News) - Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that a general election will be held on 4 July, following a day of intense speculation in Westminster.
The announcement came during a statement outside Downing Street after 1700 BST, where Sunak addressed recent challenges faced by the country.

He opened his speech by reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, saying the events represented some of the most challenging times since World War II.

The prime minister criticised the Labour Party and its leader, Keir Starmer, accusing them of lacking a clear plan and taking the easy route to gain power.

He questioned Starmer's consistency and commitment to his promises, suggesting that Starmer's approach would lead to uncertainty if he were to become prime minister.

In response, Keir Starmer released a video message promising "change" and positioning himself as an alternative to the current government.

Rumours of an election announcement were sparked late on Tuesday, when defence secretary Grant Shapps and foreign secretary Lord Cameron were recalled from official travel.

Cabinet ministers were seen arriving at 10 Downing Street throughout Wednesday afternoon, as rumours of a 4 July general election grew more prominent.

Sunak had been widely expected to call an autumn general election, having maintained that the government would take the nation to the polls in the "second half of the year".

The election date of 4 July is in the second half of the calendar year, by four days.

Sunak's announcement came after consumer price inflation fell less than anticipated in April, in fresh data released earlier on Wednesday.

According to the Office for National Statistics, inflation dropped to 2.3% from 3.2% in March, reaching its lowest level since July 2021 but still above the expected 2.1%.

The reduction in inflation was largely attributed to lower gas and electricity prices following the energy price cap adjustment by Ofgem.

Despite that, services inflation remained high at 5.9%, slightly down from March but exceeding forecasts.

Core inflation, excluding energy and food, also remained elevated at 3.9%, above the predicted 3.6%.

Reporting by Josh White for


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