Prime Minister refuses to be drawn on election timings saying his sights are set 'beyond' an exact date

10 April 2024, 08:03 | Updated: 10 April 2024, 08:22

Prime Minister refuses to be drawn on election date adding his sights are set 'beyond' timings
Prime Minister refuses to be drawn on election date adding his sights are set 'beyond' timings. Picture: LBC

By Danielle De Wolfe

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has refused to be drawn on the date of the next general election, adding his sights are firmly set "beyond" timings.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Speaking exclusively with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, the PM said he wished to "focus beyond the timing of the election".

Mr Sunak instead suggested the nation "should focus on the substance" of the Tory party's policies in the hope of "a brighter future ahead".

Reiterating that his "working assumption" was that a general election would take place during the second half of the year, Mr Sunak added that he is "keen to make progress" before going to the polls.

It comes as the PM launched a fresh crackdown on serial shoplifters, with the Government to make assaulting a shopworker a criminal offence.

'A complete lack of leadership': Nick Ferrari caller challenges PM on honeytrap scandal

"I said very clearly my working assumption was an election in the second half of the year... It's been tough but we are making progress," Mr Sunak explained.

"We've got a plan," the Prime Minister vowed, urging the nation to have confidence in the Tory party.

Speaking with Nick, the PM said the nation had recently "been through a hard time as an economy" and voters should instead "focus" on his party's policies that make a "real difference" to people.

Read more: ‘Enough is enough’: PM launches crackdown on serial shoplifters ripping off Britain's retailers as new offence created

Read more: Tory MP William Wragg resigns Conservative whip after being caught in honeytrap sexting scandal

The Prime Minister reiterated his vow to "stop the boats" - one of the Conservatives five key policy pledges set out last January.

Touching on a range of subjects as he took calls with Nick, the PM pledged he would do whatever it takes to ensure the government's Rwanda policy goes through.

Nick Ferrari asks Rishi Sunak the question thousands have messaged us about

It comes hours after the government backtracked on their stance on shoplifting.

Ministers previously ruled out creating a separate criminal offence for shop lifting, insisting it was not "required".

But the Government has now changed its position, with the prime minister announcing that the Criminal Justice Bill would be amended to bring in the new offence.