Football Fan Enters Not Guilty Plea for Pitch Invasion and Referee Threat

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Rishi Sunak has refused to rule out a May election as speculation mounts that he is eyeing an early poll. The prime minister has previously said his “working assumption” is that he will go to the country in the second half of this year. But he did not repeat that formulation when asked about a May vote on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2.

Instead, the Conservative leader said: “I’m not going to say anything about that. What matters is the choice at that election”. He added: “And the choice, especially after this Budget, is clear. Our plans are working.” Voters will already go to the polls at the start of May, in local elections up and down the country.

Senior Tories fear the results could be a bloodbath that would diminish their chances of a good result in a general election. A number, including former cabinet ministers, are urging the PM to call an early election in a bid to return as many Tory MPs as possible and give the party a fighting chance in 2029.

Football Fan vs Referee Threat (Credits:

The PM has faced claims he is clearing his diary to keep his options open for a possible early poll. Earlier this week the Independent revealed an international summit long planned for April had been cancelled so abruptly the event’s official envoy was on his way to visit Africa to promote it when he was told.

Mr Sunak is hoping for a bounce in the polls from Wednesday’s Budget, when the chancellor announced tax cuts worth billions of pounds.

Some within his party also feel Labour is under instense pressure over its stance on the war in Gaza. Labour leader Keir Starmer is facing calls from his party members to back a ceasefire in the conflict.

But a shock poll earlier this week showed that just one in five voters back the Tories.On Tuesday minister Greg Hands said the contest would be “later this year”. Asked if there was “a sniff” of a chance of a May general election, Mr Hands said: “No.”

At the same time, Labour’s shadow paymaster general made a bet with Sky News presenter Kay Burley that the contest would be in May. Jonathan Ashworth said: “This election is coming in May. I think it is definitely coming in May… the Conservatives are planning for that.”

Former Tory leader Lord Hague has urged the PM to “keep his options open”, but added that it was “much more likely” an election would come late this year. Mr Sunak’s deadline to dissolve parliament in time for an early May election is 26 March.

The Ipsos poll, published on Monday, suggests Mr Sunak could hold on to as few as 25 seats – 351 fewer than Boris Johnson won in 2019 – in what would be a historic defeat.

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