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Rishi Sunak calls General Election for 4 July on back of falling inflation

Lauretta Roberts
22 May 2024

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called a General Election for 4 July as he seeks to capitalise on positive economic news.

Official figures released today showed that inflation slowed to 2.3% in April, the lowest level since July 2021. Sunak described the figures as a “major moment” for the economy and evidence that “when you stick to the plan, we can look forward to a brighter future”.

Answering questions about the economy in the Commons earlier today, Sunak said: “Not only have we halved inflation, but it has returned back to normal thanks to the collective hard work and sacrifice and resilience of people up and down the country, and this is further proof that our plan is working.

“Mortgage rates have come down, energy bills have come down, taxes are being cut and inflation is now back to normal.

“That shows that when you stick to the plan, we can look forward to a brighter future.”

Later the afternoon the PM called Ministers to Number 10 for a Cabinet meeting with speculation mounting all afternoon that an election could be called. The Prime Minister had always stuck to the line that the vote would be scheduled for the second half of the year with most expecting it to take place in the Autumn.

However major news outlets began reporting that the General Election would take place on 4 July as Sunak seeks to strike while the Tories have good news to share on the economy and households start to feel they have more money in their pockets.

“Thanks to the difficult decisions we have taken, inflation today is back to normal, which is a very welcome moment.

“Of course, there’s more work to do. Of course, people are only just starting to feel the benefit, but it’s clear that the plan is working and that’s why we have also been able to deliver significant tax cuts worth £900 to the average worker in our country.

“This is all progress that would absolutely be put at risk by the party opposite,” the Prime Minister said in the Commons.

Confirming the King had granted permission for an election to take place, Sunak said in a press briefing at Number 10: “Earlier today I spoke with His Majesty the King to request the dissolution of Parliament. The King has granbted this request and we will have a general election July 4."

He also sought to place emphasis on unsettled world events, perhaps in a bid to discourage the electorate, to vote for regime change. “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,” he said.

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