Rishi Sunak to promise ‘bold ideas’ in pre-election pitch

  • Written by Sam Francis and Nick Eardley
  • BBC Politics

Rishi Sunak will say the UK is “at a crossroads” ahead of “some of the most dangerous years”, in an address to voters ahead of the election on Monday.

The Prime Minister will say in a speech that his “bold ideas” could “create a safer future” for Britons.

Labor said the Conservatives could not solve the UK’s problems because “they are the problem”.

National polls show Labor has a lead of up to 20 points over the Conservatives in general election voting intentions.

Mr Sunak is set to argue in a speech in London that voters face a stark choice over who will lead the country through “some of the most dangerous and transformative years” on record.

The Prime Minister is seeking to portray himself as the best person to deal with the challenges after the general elections expected before the end of the year.

He will say he has “bold ideas” that can “create a safer future” for Britons and restore their “trust and pride in our country”.

“I feel a deep sense of urgency because a lot will change in the next five years compared to the past 30 years,” he said.

Mr Sunak will pledge to protect the UK from threats of war, a global rise in migration and “those who seek to undermine our shared values ​​and identities”.

He will pledge to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

He will say: “Over the next few years, from our democracy to our economy to our society – to the most difficult questions of war and peace – almost every aspect of our lives will change.

“How we act in the face of these changes – not just to keep people safe and secure but to seize opportunities – will determine whether Britain succeeds in the years to come.

“This is the choice facing the country.”

Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, Pat McFadden, said: “Nothing the Prime Minister says will change the fact that the Conservatives have brought costly chaos to the country over the past 14 years.”

He added: “The only way to stop the chaos, turn the page, and begin renewal is to change the government.”

Downing Street argued that Sunak had a track record of delivering bold solutions, from furlough during the pandemic to the Rwanda scheme – first launched by Boris Johnson’s administration.

The Prime Minister sought to persuade voters that Britain’s economic prospects were improving in an attempt to reverse the Conservative Party’s electoral fortunes.

Whether today’s rallying call is enough to convince Conservative MPs – or voters – is another matter.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said on Sunday it would be “absolutely right” to hold the general election in the second half of the year to give voters time to see “the success of the economic plan”.

Official figures last week showed that the economy grew by 0.6% during the first quarter, ending the technical recession recorded in the latter half of last year.

But Mr Sunak has faced repeated setbacks – including the results of the recent local elections. His problems were compounded by the defection of Natalie Elphick in protest against his housing record and the stoppage of small boats crossing the Channel – the second MP to desert the Tories for Labour in as many weeks.

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