Breaking news: July election confirmed by PM Rishi Sunak

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Polling station sign outside a community hall
Polling station. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Following months of speculation, the Prime Minister has formally confirmed the date for the next general election.

After stating that an election would be called in the “second half of the year”, Rishi Sunak held a press conference in the rain in Downing Street this afternoon (Wednesday) to announce that a general election will be held on Thursday, 4 July.

Within Bedford Borough, three seats are up for grabs: Bedford and Kempston, North East Bedfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire.

Bedford and Kempston is represented by Mohammad Yasin MP with a majority of just 145 votes. He has confirmed that he will be standing in the 2024 general election.

The Conservative candidate for Bedford and Kempston is Pinder Chauhan.

In Mid Bedfordshire, Alistair Strathern (Labour) was elected in the recent by-election with a 1,129 majority, overturning the long-held Conservative majority of Nadine Dorries.

He has confirmed that he will not be contesting the seat in the general election. Instead, he will be standing as the Labour candidate in the new Hitchin constituency.

The Labour candidate for Mid Beds will be Maahwish Mirza, a former Luton councillor.

Richard Fuller (Conservative) is the current MP for North East Bedfordshire. He was elected in 2019 with a 24,283.

Other parties’ candidates are yet to be announced.

This is a breaking news story and more detailed reaction will follow.