Rishi Sunak Is Scared To Call An Election Because He Knows He Would Lose, Says Keir Starmer

The Labour leader said the prime minister should "let the country decide the change that it needs".
Keir Starmer is cock-a-hoop after the success of the Labour conference in Liverpool.
Keir Starmer is cock-a-hoop after the success of the Labour conference in Liverpool.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak is afraid to call a general election because he knows he would lose it, Keir Starmer has claimed.

The prime minister last week claimed that an election was “not what anybody wants”.

Embarrassingly for the PM, just days later a poll by Redfield and Winton Strategies showed that 57% of voters do want an election within the next six months, compared to just 13% who are against the idea.

Interviewed by Sky News today, Starmer said Sunak was “completely wrong” to say the public does not want the chance to decide who should be running the country.

He said: “What he really meant was he’s not happy to go to the electorate because he thinks he will lose.

“I think he said last week something that I agree with, which is that the last few years have been the wrong decisions and we need change. I say, spot on, let the country decide the change that it needs. That can be done through a general election.”

Sunak has until January 2025 at the latest to call the next election, although some Westminster insiders believe he could go to the country next spring.

In a separate interview with the BBC, Starmer also vowed to “bulldoze” opposition to his plans for Labour to build 1.5 million new homes if they win that election.

The Labour leader said he would introduce planning reforms which would make it easier for developments to go ahead in the face of local opposition.

He said: “My overwhelming sense is that almost everybody accepts that there needs to be new houses.

“What they don’t want is houses that are part of the Wild West that we have at the moment, where there’s hoarding of land, developers decide where the building takes place but we aren’t going to have to take the tough decisions to bulldoze through these restrictions. That’s what I set out.

“Because otherwise but the dream of home ownership, the idea that you own your own home, a secure roof over your head a springboard for your children to go on their journey. This is the story of my life. I think every family deserves that.”


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