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Rishi Sunak says he is the best to take UK through ‘dangerous yet transformational’ years

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will say in a pre-election pitch to voters on Monday that he is the best person to lead the nation as the UK faces “some of the most dangerous yet most transformational” years the country has ever known.

Mr Sunak will say he has “bold ideas” that can “create a more secure future” for Britons and restore their “confidence and pride in our country”.

During a speech in London on Monday, he will acknowledge voters face a stark choice in whom they choose to govern the nation at a time of unprecedented global volatility and technological advancements.

It comes as his Conservative Party languishes behind Labour in the polls and suffered a mauling in local and regional elections earlier this month.

Mr Sunak’s woes deepened with the defection of MP Natalie Elphicke in protest against his record on housing and stopping small boat Channel crossings – the second defection to Labour in as many weeks.

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But he was buoyed by official figures showing the economy grew by 0.6 per cent over the first quarter, ending a technical recession recorded in the final half of last year.

Mr Sunak has sought to convince voters that Britain’s economic prospects are improving in a bid to reverse the Tories’ electoral fortunes.

He will on Monday tout his leadership in areas such as security.

“I have bold ideas that can change our society for the better, and restore people’s confidence and pride in our country,” he will say.

“I feel a profound sense of urgency because more will change in the next five years than in the last 30.

“I’m convinced that the next few years will be some of the most dangerous yet most transformational our country has ever known.”

The Prime Minister will vow to safeguard the UK against threats of war, a global rise in immigration and “those seeking to undermine our shared values and identities”, according to Downing Street.

And he will pledge to capitalise on opportunities presented by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

“Our country stands at a crossroads,” he will say.

“Over the next few years, from our democracy to our economy to our society – to the hardest questions of war and peace – almost every aspect of our lives is going to change.

“How we act in the face of these changes – not only to keep people safe and secure but to realise the opportunities too – will determine whether or not Britain will succeed in the years to come.

“And this is the choice facing the country.

“At heart, we’re a nation of optimists.

“We’re not blind to the challenges or threats we face. We just have an innate belief that whatever they are, we can overcome them as we have done so many times in our history.

“And create a more secure future for you and your family.”

Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Sunday argued it would be “absolutely right” for the general election to be held in the second half of the year to give voters time to see “the economic plan is working”.

Talking up the Conservatives’ chances, he told Sky News: “I think you’ve got a very clear choice opening up, and that’s what happens as you get to the end of a parliament. It stops being a referendum on the government every day and it starts being a choice between two teams.”

Updated: May 12, 2024, 9:48 PM

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