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Rishi Sunak calls general election on 4 July – live news

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Rishi Sunak announces general election on July 4 2024

Rishi Sunak has fired the starting gun for a 4 July general election – but his opening speech was marred after journalists were forcibly ejected from his event by security.

The political correspondent Darren McCaffrey said they had not been allowed in because broadcast arrangements had been “pooled” – so other broadcasters there were obliged to share footage with others.

It came after the prime minister addressed the nation in the pouring rain, as he battled against the deafening sound of Things Can Only Get Better playing in the background – the 90s hit which famously became a New Labour anthem during Tony Blair’s successful campaign.

In a drenched suit, he said the King had granted his request to dissolve Parliament, and he promised to “fight for every vote” over the next few weeks.

Sir Keir Starmer declared “it’s time for change” and told Britons to vote Labour in response to the PM’s announcement.

He said: “By the force of our democracy, power returns to you. A chance to change for the better your future.”

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General election 2024: Why Rishi Sunak chose July 4

Rishi Sunak has announced that 4 July is the general election date but why did he settle for that date?

The practical reason for his decision comes with election law and the parliamentary timetable. Parliament needs to be dissolved 25 working days before the date of an election which means that if he wanted a summer election he had limited options.

By calling an election on 4 July, next week’s planned recess will be cancelled giving parliament a “wash up week” to complete its remaining business by Thursday. Parliament can then be dissolved in time for a July 4 election. This meant the prime minister could not have called it any earlier.

Barney Davis23 May 2024 06:00

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Protester played New Labour anthem to troll Tories

Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray said he selected the D:Ream song for its association with the Tory landslide defeat in the 1997 general election rather than as a show of support for Labour.

He added that his protest outside Downing Street was put on hold when his two amplifiers became soaked and stopped working during heavy rain in Westminster.

Mr Bray told the PA news agency: “I thought about what would be the best trolling tune if he announced the election.

“And of course, it had to be ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Because everybody can relate to that and the 1997 election.

“I didn’t do it for Labour. I did it because it was the top trolling song for the Conservatives.”

Responding to complaints that people could not hear the speech in Downing Street because of his protest, Mr Bray said: “Look at the damage Sunak’s done to the country.

“If they couldn’t hear the speech, it’s still reported. They’ll know what he said.”

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 05:00

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‘Things can only get wetter’: The best Rishi Sunak memes as PM is drowned out

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 04:05

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Sunak explains why he chose July general election date

Rishi Sunak explains why he chose July general election date

Rishi Sunak has explained why he has chosen 4 July as the date for the general election. In an Instagram clip posted after he made the announcement outside 10 Downing Street, the prime minister He appeared to be dry after getting soaked at the lectern as he made his speech to the public. Speaking into the camera, Mr Sunak said though the public are “only just starting to feel the benefits” of Tory plans, “this hard won economic stability was only ever meant to be the beginning. “And that’s why I’ve called an election.”

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 03:00

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Key dates in countdown to election

– May 24 2024: Parliament prorogued which means the end of the Parliamentary session, bringing most business to an end.

– May 30: Parliament dissolved. By law, this has to take place no later than 25 working days before polling day, which, in this instance, is May 30.

The days between now and end of the the Parliament will be used to complete any urgent business in the Commons and the Lords, though it also means certain pieces of legislation currently going through parliament – such as the Tobacco & Vapes Bill and the Football Governance Bill – will probably be lost or else scaled back.

– June 7: Deadline for candidates to be nominated. It is highly likely that candidates for some of the 650 constituencies across the UK have yet to be picked. Political parties will be rushing to find people to fill these gaps.

– June 18: Deadline to register to vote. This can be done online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

– June 19: Deadline to apply for a postal vote.

– June 26: Deadline to apply for a proxy vote – in other words, for someone to vote on your behalf – and to apply for a Voter ID certificate, if you do not already have a valid form of photo identification.

This will be the first UK general election where all voters will have to show a valid form of photo ID before casting a ballot.

– July 4: Election day. Polls will open from 7am to 10pm.

– July 9: The new Parliament will be summoned to meet

– July 17: State opening of Parliament.

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 02:25

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Stop the chaos, says Starmer in pitch to voters

Sir Keir Starmer has promised to “stop the chaos” in his first speech of the general election campaign, saying a vote for Labour would be “a vote for stability”.

The Labour leader sought to sketch his party’s pitch to voters with an attack on Conservative stewardship of the country and a focus on his party’s offer of “change”.

Speaking in central London, and indoors in contrast to Rishi Sunak’s rain-drenched speech in Downing Street, Sir Keir said the election was “an opportunity for change”.

He said: “Over the course of the last four years, we have changed the Labour Party, returned it once more to the service of working people.

“All we ask now, humbly, is to do exactly the same for our country and return Britain to the service of working people.”

(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 01:55

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Watch: Rishi Sunak explains why he chose July general election date

Rishi Sunak explains why he chose July general election date.mp4

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 01:25

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Can I still vote in the July general election if I am on holiday?

Jane Dalton23 May 2024 00:30

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Election candidates must prioritise social care, say experts

Election candidates must not get away with “weasel words or vague promises” on social care, a providers group has warned.

Those knocking on doors asking for votes should be told that “proper reform” is needed and they will be held accountable for political pledges, the Independent Care Group (ICG) said.

The organisation, which represents providers in York and North Yorkshire, said social care must be a priority for the parties.

Public satisfaction with social care services has dropped to a new low, according to survey results published in March.

Just over one in 10 (13%) of more than 3,000 respondents said they were quite or very satisfied with social care services while more than half (57%) reported being either quite or very dissatisfied.

The findings, from the British Social Attitudes survey for 2023, showed a fall in satisfaction from 14% the previous year.

Jane Dalton22 May 2024 23:59

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Ask the questions about the general election

Join The Independent’s chief political commentator John Rentoul live as he answer all your election questions:

Jane Dalton22 May 2024 23:40

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