Man in black suit

3 weeks ago

Sunak Sets General Election Date

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for a general election to be held on Thursday, 4th July 2024. The announcement in the pouring rain on Downing Street came after Sunak received King Charles’s approval to dissolve Parliament on Thursday, 30th May.

The Prime Minister

Speaking from Derbyshire, the PM told the BBC that his decision to call an early election was driven by a return to ‘economic stability’ under his leadership. He emphasised the Government's achievements following the volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Sunak also addressed the controversial immigration issue, confirming that the now infamous deportation flights to Rwanda would not depart before the election. However, he was keen to assure voters that these flights would continue should the Conservative Party remain in Government beyond the summer.

The PM said: "Economic stability has returned, and it's time to give the people a choice on who they want to lead the country through the next phase. We have a clear plan, and we will fight for every vote."

The Houses of Parliament

The Opposition

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer spent little time launching his campaign, speaking at a rally in Kent on Thursday 23rd May. Starmer called for an end to what he described as ‘chaos’ under Conservative rule, labelling the Government’s actions as ‘unforgivable’.

The Leader of the Opposition said: "Nothing will change if the Tories get another five years in charge. It's time to turn the page and rebuild Britain. Our party is focused on returning Britain to the service of working people."

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrats' Deputy Leader, ruled out any coalition with the Conservatives, referencing the Cameron-Clegg alliance in 2010. Cooper, however, refused to comment on the possibility of working with Labour, reiterating that the party's focus is on winning voter trust independently.

Nigel Farage announced that he would not be standing in the upcoming election. However, the Reform UK founder stated he would support his party’s campaign efforts regardless.

Dissolution of Parliament

The election announcement has triggered a rush to pass significant legislation in the tight timeframe before Parliament is dissolved. This period, known as the ‘wash-up’, typically sees a frantic effort to rush through bills with cross-party support.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill and the Post Office Bill are high on the agenda this time around. Both of these bills address redress for those affected by the Horizon scandal and the infected blood scandal. These bills will likely pass with broad support from all sides of the Commons.

However, other legislation, such as reforms on leaseholds and smoking, are likely to fall by the wayside. Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt hinted that updates would be forthcoming as negotiations continue to determine which bills can and should be prioritised.

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Sam White