Sunak takes gamble by calling UK general poll British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

LONDON. – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a surprise early election for 4 July in a contest that will see Keir Starmer try to take power for Labour after 14 years of Conservative-led government.

The premier yesterday announced the election would be in the early summer, in a high-risk move for the Conservative party as it trails 20 points behind Labour in the polls.

Sunak finally decided to name the date after claiming inflation was back under control and the economy was improving, saying it was “the moment for Britain to choose its future”.

“I hope that my work since I became prime minister shows that we have a plan and are prepared to take bold action necessary for our country to flourish,” he said.

“Now I’ve stuck with that plan and always been honest with you about what is needed even when that’s been difficult.”

Sunak made his announcement in heavy rain outside No 10 Downing Street, almost drowned out by the New Labour anthem, D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better, which was blasted out on the street outside.

The prime minister added: “I cannot and will not claim that we have got everything right. No government could, but I am proud of what we have achieved together, the bold actions we have taken. I’m confident about what we can do in the future.”

However, Starmer is widely expected to become the next prime minister after transforming his party since its historic election defeat almost five years ago.

The prime minister’s announcement triggered immediate speculation that Tory MPs were submitting no-confidence letters, amid widespread concern in the party that he was calling the election despite being so far behind in the polls.

Speaking from a lectern in the street despite the rain, a downbeat Sunak said the election would be a question of trust, warning that the British people could not believe any promise made by Starmer.

“The question now is how and who do you trust to turn that foundation into a secure future for you, your family and our country,” he said.

It followed a day of febrile speculation in Westminster, triggered by rare good economic news for the government and an unusually timed cabinet meeting, with senior ministers changing their plans to attend. – The Guardian

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