“Keir Starmer Urges Rishi Sunak to Disclose Election Date Amid Buzz of June Polls”

Keir Starmer has told Rishi Sunak to stop dithering and finally name the date for the next general election amid speculation of a June vote.

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The challenge came amid whispers the PM, who chickened out of a May vote, could now gamble on a summer vote in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save his own skin. Downing Street is concerned a catastrophic set of results at the local elections could reignite Tory MPs’ plots to oust Mr Sunak.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Starmer said the only thing driving the PM now was “his own survival”. He said: “I have to be honest, I was hoping we’d be launching a different election campaign here today. But the PM bottled it. He wants one last, drawn out summer tour with his beloved helicopter.”

Launching Labour’s local elections campaign, he urged voters to send the Tories a message. He said: “Show his party – once again that their time is up, the dithering must stop, the date must be set. Britain wants change, and it’s time for change with Labour.”

Last week the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt dropped a hint the country will head to the ballot box at a general election in October. The PM has previously insisted it his “working assumption” the public will head to the polls in the second half of 2024 – but has not mentioned a specific month.

But according to the Daily Mail Mr Sunak’s inner circle believe the current situation with the warring Tory party is untenable and the PM should head to the polls as early as June.

The Labour leader also sought to exploit Tory divisions by praising Boris Johnson for his Levelling Up plans, which he said had been trashed by Mr Sunak. The PM has been criticised by Tory West Midlands Mayor Andy Street for presiding over a “begging culture” by forcing regional mayors and town halls to scrap for much-needed cash.

Speaking in Dudley – the same location Boris Johnson used to boast about his levelling up agenda four years ago – Mr Starmer said the ex-PM’s message had “struck a chord” but Mr Sunak has failed to deliver.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner, who introduced Mr Starmer, also described the Tories’ promise to level up the country as a “burnt-out shell”. She added: “It’s like a car that’s been nicked and then left behind a row of garages, only for the Tories to leg it out the passenger door.”

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