Home Europe Rishi Sunak squirms over UK election date in local radio grilling

Rishi Sunak squirms over UK election date in local radio grilling

by editor

LONDON — Rishi Sunak ran the local radio gauntlet Tuesday — and didn’t exactly help himself by chuckling through it.

The embattled U.K. prime minister is on a media blitz ahead of local elections a month today, and faced a tough grilling from local radio stations in the North East of England as he tried to talk up Conservative achievements.

But Sunak was repeatedly pressed by BBC Radio Tees on the question obsessing British politics-watchers: when exactly a general election will be held.

Sunak burst into laughter when asked to name the date by presenter Amy Oakden, and insisted he had “answered that question many times in the last few weeks” and was “unfortunately not” able to disclose the precise date to local radio.

An unimpressed Oakden asked Sunak: “Why is that funny? Sorry. Why are you laughing about that?”

Sunak said he’d been chuckling “because there’s a way that we’d announce general elections and it would be done in the formal and official way.”

Sunak — whose party is trailing in the polls after 14 years in office — has already ruled out a May election, but said only that his “working assumption” is that there’ll be a vote in the second half of 2024.

He told BBC Radio Newcastle Tuesday that there had been “no change” to this position. Under British rules, Sunak must call an election no later than January 28 next year, but the precise timing before then is in his gift.

Sunak is not the first prime minister to struggle with the scrutiny of local radio broadcasters, who often ask questions that stray from the usual Westminster talking points. Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss famously came under fire in a bruising local media round during her own short-lived premiership.

Source link

Related Posts