Rishi Sunak announces UK general election for Thursday 4 July

Rishi Sunak has vowed to “fight for every vote” as he called an early UK general election for Thursday 4 July, the BBC reports.

In a surprise announcement, the PM said he would go to the polls this summer as he bids to win a fifth term in office for the Conservatives.

It overturned expectations of an autumn election, which might have given his party a better chance of closing the gap with Labour.

Parliament will now be suspended on Friday, before it is formally shut down on Thursday next week ahead of an official five-week election campaign.

It means there are only two days to pass any outstanding legislation – a move which will mean some of the government’s measures will have to be abandoned.

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