Rishi Sunak warns of ‘very dangerous’ next few years for England

  • By Sam Francis & Nick Erdley
  • BBC Politics

Rishi Sunak will make a pre-election pitch to voters on Monday, saying he “stands at a crossroads” ahead of “a very dangerous few years”.

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

Labor said the Tories could not fix Britain’s problems because “they are the problem”.

Mr Sunak’s speech in London will focus on the security and wider challenges facing the UK as he argues that voters face a clear choice about who will lead the country.

He would say: “I feel a profound sense of urgency because there will be more change in the next five years than in the last 30 years.

“I firmly believe that the next few years will be the most dangerous and the most transformative our country has ever known.”

The Prime Minister is also expected to talk about foreign policy, describing China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as an axis of authoritarian states that threaten the UK; Global migration and artificial intelligence.

The National Poll has put Labor 20 points ahead of the Conservatives in general election voting intentions.

The prime minister is trying to present himself as the best person to deal with challenges – after the general election – expected by the end of this year.

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

Mr Sunak will vow to defend the UK against threats of war, global immigration and “those who seek to undermine our shared values ​​and identity”.

He also promises to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technologies such as artificial intelligence.

He would say: “In the next few years, every aspect of our lives will change – from our democracy, our economy, our society – to the hard questions of war and peace.

“How we respond to these changes – not only to keep people safe and secure, but also to realize the opportunities – will determine whether or not Britain succeeds in the years ahead.

“This is the choice the country faces.”

Downing Street argued that Mr Sunak had a track record of delivering bold solutions, from furloughs to the Rwanda programme, during the pandemic first launched by Boris Johnson’s administration.

The Prime Minister tried to convince voters that Britain’s economic prospects were improving in a bid to reverse the Tories’ electoral fortunes.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer will meet Labor mayors later – and will portray a choice between “a transformed Labor Party… or more chaos and collapse under the Tories”.

He will hold a roundtable with mayors on how to promote regional development if Labor takes power.

“We saw the public turn to Labor last week as the first step to getting the change Britain needs. And voting Labor is the only way to end the chaos, turn the page and start renewing all our communities.”

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron argued that it was “absolutely right” to hold a general election in the second half of the year to give voters time to see “the economic plan in action”.

Last week’s official figures showed the economy grew by 0.6% in the first quarter, ending the technical slowdown recorded in the final half of last year.

But Mr Sunak has faced repeated setbacks – including in the recent local elections. His woes deepened when Natalie Elphick – the second MP to quit the Tories for Labor in as many weeks – quit in protest over her record on housing and stopping small boat Channel crossings.

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