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General election latest: Rishi Sunak announces 4 July vote in Downing Street statement – BBC News

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Copyright: Reuters

Being the one who calls the election is often seen as a prime minister’s greatest asset.

As we saw this afternoon, though, it can bring downsides.

The expectation is that a PM does it in Downing Street, in front of the famous black door, with all the trappings of office.

But today it left Rishi Sunak at the mercy of the weather and noisy protesters.

More drenched and drowned-out than poised and prime ministerial.

Sir Keir Starmer, on the other hand was able to respond in his own time in the warm – and dry.

The carefully-positioned union flags, smartly arranged. A one-word campaign slogan fixed to his lectern.

It won’t be the contrast the Conservatives will have been hoping for, but Labour are likely to be delighted

Particularly as first impressions often help frame the contest to come.

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