UK General Election 2024: Watch as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces July 4 election

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Watch the PM announce the date the country will head to the polls.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today (May 22) announced a General Election will be held on July 4.

Speaking from a lectern outside Downing Street, the PM said: “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.” Mr Sunak spoke about the Covid pandemic, the furlough scheme, and the war in Ukraine before asking the question "who do you trust?"

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Speaking in central London after the PM’s announcement, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Over the course of the last four years, we've 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.”

The PM held a cabinet meeting at 4pm where he informed ministers of his election plans. Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron returned from a trip to Albania earlier than planned and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps delayed an overseas trip to attend the meeting.

During PMQs earlier today, SNP's Stephen Flynn questioned the PM on whether he planned to call a general election: "Speculation is rife, so I think the public deserve a clear answer to a simple question. Does the prime minister intend to call a summer general election or is he feart [scared]?"

Mr Sunak replied: "There is, Mr Speaker - spoiler alert - there is going to be a general election in the second half of this year [beginning July 1]."

Parliament will now be dissolved next Thursday (May 30) and the five-week election campaign will begin.

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