BRADFORD voters will go to the polls this summer after Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4, saying it was “the moment for Britain to choose its future”.

Labour MPs in the area said the election “couldn’t come soon enough” and was a chance to put an end to “14 years of Tory chaos”.

The Prime Minister has gambled that improved inflation figures and a recovering economy will help him overturn Labour’s 20-point opinion poll lead.

In a sign that security and the economy will be key battlegrounds, Mr Sunak said: “This election will take place at a time when the world is more dangerous than it has been since the end of the Cold War.”

The “uncertain times” call for a “clear plan”, he said.

A July election is earlier than many in Westminster had expected, with a contest in October or November widely thought to have been more likely.

Mr Sunak said he would “fight every vote and “earn your trust”, promising to “restore pride and confidence in our country”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a General Election for July 4 (Image: PA)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Tonight, the Prime Minister has finally announced the next General Election, a moment the country needs and has been waiting for and where, by the force of our democracy, power returns to you.

“A chance to change for the better your future, your community, your country.

“It will feel like a long campaign, I am sure of that, but no matter what else is said and done, that opportunity for change is what this election is about.”

Bradford East MP Imran Hussain (Labour) said: "For the last 14 years, this Tory Government has dragged us from crisis to crisis while heaping misery and hardship on people in Bradford with a soaring cost of living crisis, stagnating wages and crumbling public services. 

"For all those made poorer and left worse off by the Tories, Rishi Sunak's decision to finally hold a General Election now gives them the chance to kick this Government out of office, and it simply couldn't have come soon enough.

"As Bradford East's MP for the last nine years, I'm proud of my record of ensuring that Bradford's voice is heard in Parliament where it matters the most, helping thousands of my constituents, standing up against injustices and delivering for Bradford, and I ask that when people go to vote on July 4, the people of Bradford put their trust in me as their MP and their voice once more."

Bradford West MP Naz Shah (Labour) said: "It's about time.

"People deserve a choice after 14 years of Tory chaos having trashed the economy and public services.

"This General Election can't come soon enough and I'm looking forward to campaigning in Bradford West."

Conservative MP Sir Philip Davies, who represents the Shipley constituency, said: "I wasn’t expecting the election to come so soon but I welcome the opportunity to take my message to the voters.

"Since 2019 we have seen the government pour huge amounts of money into the Shipley constituency - £25million for the towns fund in Shipley; a new train depot in Shipley; the Government has agreed to pay in full for a Shipley Eastern Bypass and £14.5m for a new swimming pool in Bingley.

"Some of these projects will be put at risk with a Labour MP and Labour Government.

"People in my constituency know what it is like to have Labour in charge - they suffer every day from Bradford Council. 

"If I am returned to Parliament with Robbie Moore we will be able to pursue our campaign to leave Bradford Council - something opposed by the Labour candidate. We will campaign for the grooming gangs inquiry in Bradford - something opposed by the Labour candidate.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Anna Dixon, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Shipley, pictured left, and Shipley MP Philip Davies, who represents the Conservative party, pictured rightAnna Dixon, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Shipley, pictured left, and Shipley MP Philip Davies, who represents the Conservative party, pictured right (Image: Other)

"I appreciate that I am the underdog at this election, and the polls show I have a mountain to climb, but I will leave the Shipley constituency voters to decide if they want me to continue working hard on their behalf or if they want Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner to run the country."

Anna Dixon, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Shipley, who hopes to oust the sitting Conservative MP, said: ‘‘Labour increased our share of the vote across Shipley in the local elections and I’m delighted we now get the opportunity to build on that. Shipley is one of the constituencies Labour needs to win in order to form the next Government and that is what I’m determined to do.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Judith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, picturedJudith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, pictured (Image: Submitted)

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins (Labour) said: "My message to the Prime Minister is 'bring it on'.

"After 14 years of shambolic Conservative Government, people in Bradford will have the opportunity to vote for real change on July 4.

"Of course, the only poll that matters is one on polling day, and I am looking forward to campaigning from now until then for a Labour Government that will deliver for Bradford and the country."

The Bradford district contains five constituencies – three of which are held by Labour and two by the Conservatives.

In 2019, Ms Shah held Bradford West for Labour with a majority of 27,019, Labour’s Judith Cummins held Bradford South with a 2,346 majority, while Mr Hussain held Bradford East for Labour with an 18,144 majority.

There was better news for the Tories in outlying constituencies, with Philip Davies holding Shipley for the Conservatives with a 6,242 majority and Robbie Moore winning Keighley – often seen as a marginal constituency - with a 2,218 majority.