Rishi Sunak must realise the odds of a General Election win are low

Credit: PA

Political Editor Robert Peston gave his analysis of Rishi Sunak's General Election announcement to Tom Bradby in ITV News' special programme from Downing Street.

In all my years of following these sorts of events, I've never seen anything quite like it if I'm completely honest.

No umbrella for Rishi Sunak, no protection. It was extraordinary.

I felt sorry for him, actually, delivering a really important speech while getting literally soaked.

Meanwhile, blaring in the background you could hear the New Labour anthem - Things Can Only Get Better by D:Ream, a song loved by Tony Blair in the run-up to his 1997 election win.

Members of the media gather with umbrellas outside Number 10 Downing Street as Rishi Sunak announces a July General Election. Credit: PA

I don't even know if Sunak could hear himself speak, we definitely found it very hard.

What I could pick up, was that he is going to focus on the great challenges that the country faces - security, industrial and economic challenges; artificial intelligence; and global issues from Russia and China, to the conflict in the Middle East.

Sunak wants to persuade the British people that he is a surer pair of hands than Keir Starmer, but he didn't unveil any exciting new policies or manifesto promises at this stage.

He said, and it's pretty reasonable to say this, that he inherited an incredible crisis in the economy - and that is true - but it is a crisis that was created by his immediate predecessor and fellow Conservative Liz Truss.

She undermined confidence in the ability of the British government to pay it's debts and it was a mess.

Sunak and his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt may have restored confidence in the stability of the public finances, but interest rates are still at peak levels.

They may come down next month but they haven't yet started to come down, and inflation figures today indicate that they may not actually come down before the General Election.

Political Editor Robert Peston speaks to Tom Bradby in an ITV News' special programme from Downing Street

The PM's general theme that he inherited a mess and to an extent he's cleared it up, is right -but will the British public give him credit for clearing up a mess that his own party made?

None of the opinion polls would suggest that - and common sense might not either.

Look, he's had an awful time of late. Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong at different points over the last few months.

There have been rumours that he wanted to give up, and people close to him have said he's had enough.

I think he does care about this country and he will go in to this General Election wanting to win - but he must be a realist and realise that the odds are quite low.

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