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Rishi Sunak confronts mass exodus with 78 MPs resigning ahead of general election

With a large number of top party members leaving the party, the 44-year-old leader of Indian descent is spending some time in private with his advisers and family.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 26th 2024 02:42 PM
Rishi Sunak confronts mass exodus with 78 MPs resigning ahead of general election

Rishi Sunak confronts mass exodus with 78 MPs resigning ahead of general election

PTC News Desk: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is allegedly spending his first Saturday with his closest advisors after announcing a general election for July 4. This is part of his "unusual step" of taking a day off from public activities during the first weekend of the campaign.

Amidst the widespread departure of prominent members of Parliament from his struggling Conservative Party, the 44-year-old leader of Indian descent is spending some personal time with his family and advisors.

The newest Tory front-runners to declare that they will not seek reelection in this summer's polls are cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom, bringing the total number of party members withdrawing from the campaign to 78.

Gove's declaration, which was made public on social media on Friday night, was expected given the fierce opposition to incumbent Conservatives in many national constituencies.

Shortly after, Leadsom sent out a letter of her own to Sunak, stating, "After careful reflection, I have decided not to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming election." Housing Minister Gove acknowledged in his letter that "the toll office can take, as do those closest to me..."There are no conscripts in politics. As volunteers, we voluntarily select our own destiny. And it's a great opportunity to serve. But there comes a point at which you realize it's time to part ways. that the reins should go to a new generation." Among the prominent Members of Parliament who are leaving are former prime minister Theresa May and former defence minister Ben Wallace, who has already declared his intention to retire from public office.

Over the opening weekend of the election campaign, Sunak is taking the "unusual step" of skipping a day's worth of public events in favor of spending time debating election strategy with his closest advisors, according to sources cited by the Guardian newspaper.

A campaign operative asserted that "prime ministers don't normally spend the first weekend of the campaign at home talking to their advisers," despite one source calling Sunak's desire to restart his campaign "ridiculous."

Opposition Labour MP Stella Creasy said on social media that Sunak already needed a day in bed after reading the reports. A new government is already needed in Britain." The allegations, however, were quickly refuted when it was revealed that he was spending the day campaigning in Yorkshire, a constituency in northern England. Bim Afolami, a conservative minister, stepped in to refute the opposition's accusations of the Sunak campaign.

"Many of those things seem like fluff to me."I believe that framing this election correctly is crucial," he declared.

One reporter questioned if Sunak was "captaining a sinking ship going into this election" when he visited Belfast's Titanic Quarter on Friday, the site of the largest attraction in the world centered around the ship.

Leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, is also in full campaign mode and intends to use the day at public gatherings centered around his claims that the Conservatives have increased living expenses and harmed the economy.

It coincided with the first YouGov opinion poll after Rishi Sunak called for an early summer general election on Wednesday, in which Labour's lead shrank by three points.

The poll, which was done on Thursday and Friday, has Labour down two points to 44% and the Conservatives up one point to 22%.

- With inputs from agencies

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