Foreign

May 22, 2024

UK General election to hold July 4

UK General election to hold July 4

A UK general election is to be held on July 4, British media reported on Wednesday quoting sources, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with his top ministers.

Political editors at the BBC, ITV, Sky News and The Guardian all said Sunak would name the date in a Downing Street statement after the cabinet meeting.

The poll will be the first time Sunak, 44, faces the public while in charge, after he was appointed leader of the largest party in parliament in an internal Conservative vote in October 2022.

The vote — the third since the Brexit referendum in 2016  — comes as Sunak seeks to capitalise on better economic data to woo voters hit by cost-of-living rises.

Halving inflation within a year from historic highs of above 11.0 percent at the end of 2022 was one of the former financier’s five key pledges.

That happened last year and on Wednesday rates slowed to a near three-year low at 2.3 percent in March, prompting finance minister Jeremy Hunt to declare: “This is proof that the plan is working.”

Political commentators have increasingly suggested that Sunak, trailing badly in the polls to the main opposition Labour party, could try to seek a bounce from the healthier outlook.

But critics point out that is more to do with changes in the global economy than government policy.

Sunak has previously batted back all efforts to name a date, saying only that he would go to the country in the second half of this year.

Speculation mounted again after Sunak and his top officials on Wednesday refused to deny fresh talk that he was about to call an election on the back of the more positive data.

Rumours went into overdrive when Foreign Secretary David Cameron was recalled from a trip to Albania and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps delayed a trip to eastern Europe to attend a Cabinet meeting.

Hunt also cancelled a scheduled television interview for Wednesday evening, ITV’s political editor said, as journalists, photographers and camera crews flocked to Downing Street.