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

  • By Sam Francis and Nick Eardley
  • BBC politics

Rishi Sunak will say the UK “stands at a crossroads” ahead of “some of its most dangerous years”, in a pre-election speech to voters on Monday.

In a speech, the Prime Minister will argue that his “bold ideas” can “create a safer future” for Britons.

Labor said the Conservatives cannot fix the UK’s problems because “they are the problem”.

National polls put Labor up to 20 points ahead of the Conservatives in voting intentions in the general election.

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

The prime minister is trying to present himself as the best person to face the challenges after the general elections, scheduled for before the end of the year.

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

“I feel a deep sense of urgency because more will change in the next five years than in the last 30,” he said.

Sunak will vow to safeguard the UK against threats of war, a global rise in immigration and “those who seek to undermine our shared values ​​and identities”.

And it will commit to taking advantage of the opportunities presented by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

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

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

“And this is the choice the country faces.”

Labour’s national campaign coordinator Pat McFadden said: “Nothing the Prime Minister says will change the fact that for the last 14 years the Conservatives have brought costly chaos to the country.”

And he added: “The only way to stop the chaos, turn the page and begin to renew is with a change of government.”

Downing Street has argued that Sunak has a track record of offering bold solutions, from furlough during the pandemic to the plan for Rwanda, which was first launched by Boris Johnson’s administration.

The prime minister has tried to convince voters that Britain’s economic prospects are improving in a bid to reverse the Conservatives’ electoral fortunes.

Whether today’s appeal is enough to convince despondent Conservative MPs (or voters) is another question.

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

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

But Sunak has faced repeated setbacks, including the recent local election results. His troubles deepened with the defection of Natalie Elphicke in protest at her record on housing and stopping small boat channel crossings – the second MP to abandon the Conservatives for Labor in as many weeks. .