The general election will be an opportunity to oust a ‘zombie’ government, said local politicians as polling day was announced.

The long-awaited General Election will be held on Thursday July 4, in about six weeks. Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak made the statement in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Speculation about an announcement had mounted in Westminster as Cabinet ministers were summoned for an unusually timed meeting, with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron cutting short foreign trips to attend.

It comes after the Tory leader declared inflation was “back to normal” in a “major milestone” for the country, following official figures showing inflation slowed to 2.3% in April.

Blackburn MP Kate Hollern said: "I welcome this generational opportunity to remove the Conservatives from office and deliver hope for the future of our country.

"I’ve dedicated decades of my life to serving Blackburn, first as a Councillor and now after nine years as the town’s MP. Blackburn is, always has been and always will be my top priority.

"’ll be campaigning hard over the coming weeks, and look forward to speaking to as many residents as possible."

Cllr Phil Riley, the Labour leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council said: “I think we are delighted that the Prime Minister has finally called a general election. The country has been waiting for this day.

“I think we have had a zombie government for far too long.”

Cllr Salim Sidat part of the Independent group, which picked up seven council seats in the local elections said: “We will be having an independent candidate and this will be announced in the coming days.

“We have had a great response from people from across the town and we will be having a candidate that stands for all the people of Blackburn.”

Former British ambassador Craig Murray, has been picked to represent George Galloway's Worker’s party at the upcoming general election in the town.

He said: “It is very exciting and I am very much looking forward to it.

“We are going to give people a more radical alternative and we will also be offering people something different from the mainstream parties.”

Tiger Patel only officially announced his intention on Tuesday night and said it was a strange coincidence that the election was called straight away.

He said: “I am happy to be standing in the general election and I have been called by supporters all day especially after I announced my full intention to fight the seat a short while earlier."

The Labour Party is leading with 45%, with the Conservatives trailing behind at 24%, opinion polls published May 22 show. Reform was polling at 11%, the Lib Dems at 10% and the Green Party at 6%.

Meanwhile, Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans posted one picture stating 'Thank you class of 2019'.



Announcing the election Rishi Sunak said he would “never leave the people of this country to face the darkest of days alone”.

He told the country: “I have never and will never leave the people of this country to face the darkest of days alone, and you know that because you’ve seen it.

“As I did then I will forever do everything in my power to provide you with the strongest possible protection I can. That is my promise to you. Because for so many of us, it’s easy to forget the scale of what we’ve been through.

“I hope that my work since I became Prime Minister shows that we have a plan and are prepared to take bold action necessary for our country to flourish.

“Now, I have stuck with that plan and always been honest with you about what is needed, even when that’s been difficult, because I’m guided by doing what is right for our country, not what is easy.”