Watch from Downing Street on day Sunak announced general election date

Watch from Downing Street on the day that Rishi Sunak announced a general election for Thursday 4 July.

The Prime Minister has gambled that improved inflation figures and a recovering economy will help him overturn Labour’s 20-point opinion poll lead.

In a sign that security and the economy will be key battlegrounds, Mr Sunak said: “This election will take place at a time when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War.

The “uncertain times” call for a “clear plan”, he added.

A July election is earlier than many in Westminster had expected, with a contest in October or November widely thought to have been more likely.

Mr Sunak’s announcement came after the Office for National Statistics said Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation slowed to 2.3 per cent in April, down from 3.2 per cent in March.

He said that was a “major milestone” for the country, with inflation now “back to normal” levels.