Sir Ed Davey has called for Rishi Sunak to hold the general election in May instead of waiting and "desperately hoping for something to turn up.”

The Lib Dem leader said the Prime Minister must not “cling on for another twelve months."

Technically, the next Westminster election needs to be held before 28 January 2025, but the Conservative leader has already ruled waiting until next year.

At a Christmas party in Downing Street, Mr Sunak told a gathering of journalists that the vote would be held in 2024.

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Speaking at a campaign event in Guildford, Sir Ed said May should be “moving day for this Conservative government".

He said: "Four historic by-election wins and sweeping gains in last May's local elections show that voters across the country are turning to us for change.

"We shouldn't have to wait any longer. It shouldn't be up to Rishi Sunak to cling on for another 12 months, desperately hoping for something to turn up and causing even more damage as he tries to keep his fractured party behind him."

The Herald:

Sir Ed said his party could “tear down the Blue Wall,” and would target affluent Tory seats held by some of the government’s biggest names.

He is planning a series of political campaigning visits to heartland seats across Surrey, including those represented by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, and Communities Secretary Michael Gove.

It comes after Labour published a list of more than 200 “non-battleground seats" in England in December. 

All but five are Tory-held seats and they include all 20 of the Lib Dems' top targets.

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Meanwhile, at a press conference in London, Reform UK leader Richard Tice insisted his party would stand in every seat in Scotland.

He said that the Tories were “terrified” of the threat his party poses.

He said the country is “ready for Rishi to call an election sooner rather than later”.

“I’m optimistic that the country quite rightly wants to punish the Tories for breaking Britain,” he said.

“The truth is the Tories are terrified, yes in the new year the special pleading has already started. ‘Oh, please don’t stand here, please don’t stand there, I’m one of the nice guys, I believe in everything that you believe in’.

“You’ve all broken Britain, you’re all responsible, so there’s no special deals, we stand in every single seat in England, Scotland and Wales.”

He said Nigel Farage is yet to make up his mind on the role he will play with the party ahead of the general election.

The Reform leader told the press conference: “We’ve been talking over the Christmas period and he’s obviously giving a lot of thought as to the extent of the role he wants to play in helping Reform UK frankly save Britain.

“He is still assessing that.

“Nigel is the master of political timing but I’m very clear the job at hand is so big to save Britain, the more help that Nigel is able to give in the election campaign, frankly, the better.”