UK general elections on July 4, says PM Sunak

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UK general elections

LONDON, MAY 22: The UK general election has been scheduled for July 4, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement Wednesday.

British media houses quoting sources said Sunak would name the date in a Downing Street statement after the cabinet meeting.

Earlier, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looked set on Wednesday to call an election for July 4, with a statement expected after ministers cancelled events and either curtailed or delayed foreign trips to attend a government meeting.

For most of Wednesday, rumours swirled around parliament that the British leader was poised to call an election — something neither he nor his team would confirm or deny.

Several local media, citing sources, said Sunak would call an election on July 4, an expectation shared by many in his Conservative Party, which is running way behind opposition Labour in the opinion polls.

Earlier, when asked about the rumours, Sunak stuck to his wording that a national election would be held in the second half of 2024. But then foreign minister David Cameron cut short a trip to Albania and the defence minister delayed a foreign visit to attend a cabinet meeting of senior ministers.

That fuelled speculation that the meeting could be required to sign off on a decision to call an election earlier than the October or November dates that most pundits had seen as most likely.

“Spoiler alert: there is going to be a general election in the second half of this year,” Sunak told parliament.

Sunak’s press secretary declined to be drawn on the rumours.

“I know there is a lot of interest in this, as there has been pretty much every week over the last five months. I will just say the same thing I have always said, which is that I am not going to rule anything in or out,” she told reporters.