Sunak announces July 4 national election in UK

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed parliament will now be prorogued, or closed for business at the end of this week.

That means there is just one, or possibly one-and-a-half, days of what’s known as “wash-up”, which is when the government can try to get Bills through in backroom deals before the official business session ends.

This very short period could give enough time for Sunak to get his Tobacco and Vapes Bill to pass as it’s likely to form part of his political legacy. But other Bills still in progress will “fall”, meaning they’ll be ditched by MPs at this point.

Calling the general election now means the next parliamentary recess, which was MPs’ next holiday period and was due to start next week, is now cancelled as campaigning officially begins.

Parliament will then be dissolved on Thursday 30 May, which gives the legally necessary 25 working days until polling day on Thursday July 4.

The prime minister needs to request permission from the King for their general election schedule.

We now know that Sunak met the King at Buckingham Palace for a private 15 minute meeting ahead of his 5 p.m. speech on Downing Street. (BBC)

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