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2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

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PM Rishi Sunak announces UK general election for July 4
Foreign

PM Rishi Sunak announces UK general election for July 4

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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 prime minister 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.

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Sunak finally decided to name the date after claiming inflation was back under control and the economy was improving.

“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.”

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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.

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

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.

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The prime minister, who has long said his “working assumption” was that the election would be held in the second half of the year, was previously thought likely to wait until the autumn and a further tax-cutting budget before holding a contest when so far behind.

However, government insiders suggested Sunak had been convinced that with the economic backdrop unlikely to improve significantly before the autumn, and questions over the delivery of his Rwanda deportation scheme, he would be better off going now.

The “wash-up”, when the government finalises non-contentious bits of legislation, is expected to take place next week before parliament is dissolved.

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Before the announcement, a spokesperson for Starmer said: “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 so I would urge the prime minister to get on with it.”


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