Chancellor hints at October general election

Watch Jeremy Hunt potentially let slip the date for the UK's next general election

The Chancellor has hinted at an October general election while being questioned by peers on a spending review.

Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday that time for a spending review would be "very, very tight" if an election was held in October.

Mr Hunt told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee: “This particular spending review has to be complete before next April, when the next financial year starts.

“And of course if the general election is in October that will mean it’s very very tight and that is why we are thinking in advance about the most important element of that spending review which is the productivity element.”

Speaking on Thursday, the prime minister confirmed there will not be a general election in May.

Rishi Sunak told ITV News: "In several weeks time, we've got elections for police and crime commissioners, for local councils, for mayors across the country, they're important elections. That's what I'm focused on.

"There won't be a general election on that day," he added.

Mr Sunak made the announcement during a visit to the southwest, where he visited Gloucester Rugby and Cheltenham General Hospital before being interviewed by ITV News West Country.

Speaking about the timing of the general election, Mr Sunak said: "I can see that the Labour Party are trying to whip up this idea that I'm about to call a general election

"It's very deliberate, its because they want to avoid questions about how they're going to fund all of their spending commitments.

"So, look in seven weeks time we have local elections, including in Gloucester, where I was talking to them today, we have police and crime commissioner elections and we have mayoral elections.

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"I am squarely focused on those because they are important.

"There will not be a general election on that day. But when there is a general election, actually, what matters is the choice at that election."

Across the Atlantic, US president Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump have clinched their parties' presidential nominations with decisive victories, setting up a general election rematch of the 2020 contest.

There is no longer any doubt that the November election will feature a rematch that few people want to see.

Their rematch - the first featuring two US presidents since 1912 - will almost certainly deepen the nation’s political and cultural divides over the next eight-month.

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