Sunak ‘determined to fight’, insisting UK general election result not a foregone conclusion

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has insisted the result of the next UK general election “isn’t a foregone conclusion” and that he is “absolutely determined to fight” on after a drubbing for the Tories in the local and mayoral polls.

He resisted calls from Conservative rebels to change his political course, saying he is “determined more than ever to show the public that what we’re doing is making a difference”.

He insisted his party is “united” on its values as he faced the cameras for the first time since the full release of results, which saw the Tories lose nearly 500 council seats, the West Midlands mayoral race and the Blackpool South by-election.


Mr Sunak stuck to his earlier prediction that the UK was on course for a hung parliament when challenged over the suggestion.

The claim was based on Sky News analysis of the local election results which suggested Labour would be the largest party in a hung parliament, though voters in national polls tend to to behave differently, with fewer opting for smaller parties.

Mr Sunak told broadcasters during a visit to a north London community centre on Monday: “The independent analysis shows that whilst of course this was a disappointing weekend for us, that the result of the next general election isn’t a foregone conclusion, and indeed actually is closer than, or the situation is closer than, many people are saying or indeed some of the opinion polls are predicting.

“And that’s why I’m absolutely determined to fight incredibly hard for what I believe and for the future country that I want to build, and that’s what I’m going to do.

“Fight for this country, fight for the things I believe and deliver for everyone on the things that matter to them.”

Former UK home secretary Suella Braverman has urged the prime minister to change course rightwards to win back voters, while Conservative moderates warned against Mr Sunak lurching away from the centre ground.

Asked whether he would be making changes, Mr Sunak said: “I’m determined more than ever to demonstrate to the country that we are making progress on the areas that matter to them and we are going to deliver for them.”

He pointed to national insurance cuts, inflation coming down, sweeping welfare reforms, the Rwanda deportation scheme being implemented and the defence spending hike.

He evaded questions about pressure from different sides of his party, saying: “What unites all members of our party, MPs and beyond, are our values as Conservatives and the type of country that we want to build.”


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