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UK Prime Minister Sunak announces surprise election on 4 July

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to go to the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Questions in London, 22 May 2024
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street to go to the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Minister's Questions in London, 22 May 2024 Copyright AP Photo/Kin Cheung
Copyright AP Photo/Kin Cheung
By Tamsin PaternosterEuronews
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In a speech that followed much speculation, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that the national election will be held on 4 July.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a surprise general election for the United Kingdom on 4 July in a speech made outside Downing Street.

The announcement followed speculation that began after Sunak pushed a Cabinet meeting to Wednesday afternoon instead of the usual time on Tuesday.

In his speech, Sunak referenced the British economy and his own government's ability to govern. 

The announcement came the same day official figures showed inflation in the UK had fallen sharply to 2.3%, its lowest level in nearly three years, on the back of big declines in domestic bills. 

Sunak emphasised this in his speech, claiming "economic stability is the bedrock of any success".

He acknowledged that "things are not easy" for members of the British public but insisted that his government had a clear plan ahead. 

His speech was made amidst pouring rain and interrupted by the sound of New Labour’s 1997 election anthem, Things Can Only Get Better, blaring in the background.   

The centre-left Labour Party led by former chief prosecutor for England and Wales Keir Starmer is favoured to win the upcoming election.

Sunak's Tory party has seen support dwindle after fourteen years in power. It has overcome various scandals, including an economic slump and a revolving door of leaders. 

The national election will involve voters across the United Kingdom choosing 650 members for the House of Commons. The party with the majority in the Commons will form the next government, with its leader as prime minister. 

The next government's term will last up to five years.

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