Prime minister calls general election

The prime minister has announced an early general election on 4 July. 

In a statement outside Downing Street, he said he had met with the King to request the dissolution of parliament, and that request was granted.

Sunak said: “I hope that my work since I became prime minister shows that we have a plan and are prepared to take bold action necessary for our country to flourish.

“I cannot and will not claim that we have got everything right. No government could, but I am proud of what we have achieved together, the bold actions we have taken. I’m confident about what we can do in the future.”

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of teachers' union NASUWT, said they welcome the announcement and it "presents a major opportunity for the country to elect a new government that will deliver a new deal for teachers and for children's education."

He said: “It is abundantly clear that the current government has run out of road and that the country is crying out for a new administration prepared to tackle the crises in our schools and other public services.

"The last 14 years have failed to deliver the investment in our schools and colleges that children deserve, whilst we have seen teachers quitting the profession in record numbers. 

“Our children’s lives and futures are being damaged by a lack of investment in our schools, colleges and wider support services for children and families.

“More teachers and headteachers are leaving the profession prematurely, whilst targets to train the next generation of teachers have been missed for more than a decade. School buildings are crumbling and increasing numbers of pupils are unable to access the specialist services and support they need.

“This election matters, not just for education in England, but across the UK because in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales high quality education is dependent on a fair funding settlement from Westminster.

“If politicians want the votes of the teaching profession in this election they have six weeks to prove they are ready to deliver for teachers, pupils, parents and the future of our education system.”

Labour leader Kier Starmer is widely expected to become the next prime minister after transforming his party since its historic election defeat almost five years ago.

CEO of the Youth Sport Trust Ali Oliver MBE added that "the next government should take a proactive approach to tackling the wellbeing crisis facing children and young people, focussing particularly on the role of play and sport in fostering fun, friendship and lifeskills, getting children away from screens and enabling positive engagement in school.”

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