"Election: July 4" headlines the Metro

“Rishi finally sets date for poll” says the Metro as it covers Rishi Sunak announcing a general election for 4 July. Metro describes it as “bombshell” move after a day of denials. Elsewhere, ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells wiped away tears as she gave her long-awaited evidence to the inquiry investigating the scandal that saw sub-postmasters wrongly prosecuted for fraud but, the paper says, the “nation’s sympathy is in the post”.

Financial Times

The prime minister announcing the election in the pouring rain outside No 10 is the main picture on the Financial Times. The broadsheet says Mr Sunak has taken a “big gamble” by announcing an election while the party trails Labour by more than 20 points in opinion polls. “Bonkers,” a former Tory minister is quoted as saying. “Not a single colleague is saying they’re pumped up or they’re ready.”

Daily Mail

“Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future” headlines the Daily Mail quoting Mr Sunak’s speech. The paper says the prime minister seized the initiative amid “Tory jitters”. It quotes Michael Gove telling Mr Sunak at an emergency cabinet meeting: “Who dares wins. You dared and you will win.”

"Drown and out" headlines the Daily Mirror as it pictures Mr Sunak walking back into No 10 with rain pouring off his back.

“Drown and out” headlines the Daily Mirror as it pictures Mr Sunak walking back into No 10 with water dripping off his back.

"Sunak's big gamble" headlines the Guardian

“Sunak’s big gamble” headlines the Guardian. It writes that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is widely expected to become the next prime minister “after transforming Labour” since its loss at the last general election under Jeremy Corbyn. It quotes Sir Keir saying, “Together we can stop the chaos”.

"Sunak gambles on snap poll" writes the Daily Telegraph

“Things can only get wetter” declares the Daily Telegraph – a play on Labour anthem Things Can Only Get Better which could be heard being played out by a protester on a loudspeaker as Mr Sunak gave his speech. But in an analysis piece on its front page, associate editor Gordon Rayner says the prime minister’s message “came across loud and clear: that things have indeed got better under his leadership, and if Sir Keir Starmer becomes prime minister things can only get worse”.

"Sunak bets the house" says the Times

Like the other papers, an image of Mr Sunak soaked delivering his speech features on the front of the Times. At a rally on Wednesday night, the paper writes, the prime minister “tried to position himself as the underdog”. Sir Keir, it says, asked the public to allow Labour to “return Britain to the service of working people”.

The i front page headlines "judgement day: 4 July snap election for UK"

“Judgement day” says the i of the general election. The paper says the snap election is an attempt to “catch Labour off guard”. Explaining the lack of readiness, it says parties do not have manifestos or enough candidates to fill seats. Mr Sunak’s decision, It writes, was influenced by falling inflation but it also feared setbacks on tax cuts and interest rates if the election was delayed further. “Tory rule will end or Labour will suffer one of the biggest shocks in UK political history,” is how the i sums up the election.

"PM: I am fighting for our nation's future" headlines the Daily Express

The Daily Express focuses on a message from the prime minister to its readers setting out his case for a Conservative win. Mr Sunak said Sir Keir was a “soft touch” on immigration and the EU. “Everything that has been hard won is at risk,” said the prime minister.

Daily Star

The Daily Star mocks up a postbox into a Mr Men character with Ms Vennells’ face superimposed on it. “Little Miss Twaddle” the headline says. The tabloid writes the ex-Post Office chief has been “accused of talking absolute tosh” at the inquiry into the Horizon scandal.

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