Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Europe

UK to hold general election on July 4: PM

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-23 00:23
Share - WeChat
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, May 22, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that the country will hold a general election on July 4.

"Earlier today I spoke with His Majesty the King to request the dissolution of parliament. The king has granted this request and we will have a general election on July 4," Sunak told the nation in front of 10 Downing Street.

The prime minister's announcement came just hours after new figures showed that inflation in the country has fallen sharply to 2.3 percent, its lowest level in nearly three years. The ruling Conservative Party considers this a heartening achievement.

The prime minister's five pledges in January 2023 included halving inflation, which had climbed to above 11 percent at the end of 2022.

Sunak said the latest figures mark a "major moment for the economy" and that "brighter days are ahead."

The Conservatives have been in power for 14 years, but have in recent years faced challenges, ranging from slow economic growth to political instability, demonstrated by frequent changes of party leadership. The Tories currently lag behind their main rival, the Labour Party, in the latest YouGov polls.

Reacting to Sunak's call for a summer snap election, Labour leader Keir Starmer said this is "a moment the country needs and has been waiting for."

"The future of the country is in your hands," he said. "Together we can stop the chaos, turn the page and start to rebuild Britain and change our country."

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats' leader, said: "This government is out of touch. It's out of excuses and it's out of time. And it's time to get this Conservative government out of office."

On May 30, the British parliament will be formally dissolved, and the election campaign will then take place until polling day on July 4.

A statement from Buckingham Palace following Sunak's announcement said "the Royal Family will, in accordance with normal procedure, postpone engagements that may appear to divert attention or distract from the election campaign."

"The announcement of a general election was no real surprise given recent economic figures. The current government can argue that the country's economy is headed in the right direction and now is not the time to change strategy," said Professor John Bryson from the University of Birmingham.

Professor Iain Begg from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) told Xinhua that the Conservative party "remains far behind in the opinion polls" and the Labour Party narrative of "time for a change" resonates with voters.

Professor Jon Tonge of the University of Liverpool said: "It is an extraordinary decision."

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349