Sunak admits election announcement ‘was a bit wet’ and he now has an umbrella

Rishi Sunak admitted that it was “a bit wet” when he made his election announcement, but said he did not regret giving the speech outside No 10 in the pouring rain.

The Prime Minister on Wednesday fired the starting gun for a July 4 General Election while exposed to the elements on Downing Street.

The rain-soaked statement was poked fun at, with observers questioning why the Tory leader did not use an umbrella in the downpour.

“I’m not going to deny that it was a bit wet,” Mr Sunak laughed on LBC Radio.

“I’m not a fair-weather politician.

“I believe very strongly in the traditions of our country. And when you’re making a statement of that magnitude as Prime Minister, I believe in just doing it in the traditional way, come rain and shine, in front of the steps of Downing Street.”

Asked on Radio 4’s Today programme whether colleagues did not warn him he would get drenched, Mr Sunak said: “I don’t think people are focused on the weather.

“I mean, you know, we’re British, we talk about the weather a lot, but I think this election will be more focused on the issues that you and I have been talking about.

“People will be pleased to know that I have got an umbrella with me today just in case.”

Rishi Sunak announcing the General Election
Rishi Sunak battled the weather and loud music during his announcement (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

It led to headlines joking that “things can only get wetter” for the Prime Minister.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer chose to stay out of the rain to respond to the election announcement, making a speech inside while flanked by Union flags.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer stayed indoors for his response to Rishi Sunak’s election announcement (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Cabinet minister told ITV’s Peston: “The fact is the Prime Minister has demonstrated throughout his career he’s been willing to make the tough calls…

“Doing a speech in the rain with some idiot blaring some music is one of the easier things he’s had to do.

“Keir Starmer had to do it indoors.

“He’s a tough boy, he’s a tough guy. And Keir Starmer had to run off inside to do his speech, and there you go – there’s your choice.”

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