20 June 2024

Sunak calls summer General Election

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for Thursday, July 4.

Mr Sunak made the announcement in Downing Street this afternoon after informing the Cabinet of his plans.

Making his statement in front of Number 10 as the rain poured down, Mr Sunak said he had gone to the King and requested a dissolution of Parliament. This has been granted and the date set for July 4.

He said he had been elected to “restore economic stability”, pointing out that this morning, it had been confirmed that inflation was back to normal, meaning “pressure on prices will ease and mortgage rates will come down”.

“Because of our collective sacrifice and your hard work, we have reached two major milestones in delivering that stability, showing that when we work together, anything is possible. Our economy is now growing faster than anyone predicted, outpacing Germany, France and the United States.”

Mr Sunak said that his Government had a “clear plan” amid turbulent times.

“This election will take place at a time when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War.

“Putin’s Russia is waging a brutal war in Ukraine and will not stop there if he succeeds. That war has also made it all too clear the risks to our energy security.

“In the Middle East, the forces of Islamist extremism threaten regional and ultimately global instability. These tensions are exploited by extremists who seek to undermine our values and define our society here.

“China is looking to dominate the 21st century by stealing the lead in technology and migration is being weaponised by hostile states. These uncertain times call for a clear plan, and bold action. To chart a course to a secure future, you must choose us in this election.”

He urged voters to look to his record, saying his government had “tackled inflation, controlled debt, cut workers’ taxes, and increased the state pension by £900”.

Mr Sunak added: “We’ve reduced taxes on investment and seized the opportunities of Brexit to make this the best country in the world to grow a business. We’ve put record amounts of funding into our NHS and ensured it is now training the doctors and nurses in the decades to come. We’ve reformed education and our children are now the best readers in the Western world.”

He claimed the future could only be “uncertain” under Labour, and that he “did not know what they offer”.

He concluded: “I will earn your trust and I’m prove to you that only a Conservative government led by me will not put our hard-earned economic stability at risk, and restore pride and competence in our country. And with a clear plan and bold action, we’ll deliver a secure future for you, your family and our United Kingdom.”

Shortly afterwards, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer gave a statement in which he pledged his party would “stop the Tory chaos”.

He said: “Over the course of the last four years, we have changed the Labour Party, and returned it once more to the service of working people.

“Look around our country – the sewage in our rivers, people waiting on trolleys in hospitals, crime virtually unpunished, mortgages and food prices through the roof. It’s all, every bit of it, a direct result of the Tory chaos in Westminster.

“Time and again, they pursue their own interests, rather than tackling the issues that affect your family, and if they get another five years, they would feel entitled to carry on exactly as they are. Nothing will change.

“A vote for Labour is a vote for stability, economic and political. A politics that treads more lightly on all our lives. A vote to stop the chaos.

“It’s time for change. Our offer is to reset both our economy and our politics so that they once again serve the interests of working people. We totally reject the Tory view that economic strength is somehow gifted from those at the top.

“Over the past 14 years, through all the crises we’ve had to face, sticking with that idea has left our country exposed, insecure, and unable to unlock the potential of every community.

“A vote for Labour is a vote to turn the page on all that – a vote for change. We have a long-term plan to rebuild Britain, a plan that is ready to go, fully costed and fully funded.

“We can deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, secure our borders with a new Border Security Command, harness Great British energy to cut your bills for good, tackle antisocial behaviour, and get the teachers we need in your children’s classroom.

“But most importantly of all, we do all this with a new spirit of service. Country first, party second – a rejection of the gesture politics you will likely see in this campaign, I have no doubt, from the Tories and the SNP.

“I’m well aware of the cynicism people hold towards politicians at the moment. But I came into politics late, having served our country as leader of the Crown Prosecution Service, and I helped the police service in Northern Ireland to gain the consent of all communities.

“Service of our country is the reason, and the only reason, why I am standing here now asking for your vote. I believe, with patience, determination and that commitment to service, there is so much pride and potential we can unlock across our country.

“So here it is – the future of the country in your hands. On July 4 you have the choice, and together we can stop the chaos, we could turn the page, we can start to rebuild Britain and change our country.”