Rishi Sunak has announced that there will be a general election on July 4 after mounting speculation throughout the day.

This afternoon he has travelled to Buckingham Palace to ask King Charles to dissolve Parliament.

A date will now be set for the dissolution of Parliament. The general election will then be held 25 days after Parliament is dissolved.

Weekends and bank holidays do not count as working days for the purpose of those 25 days.

There are normally several days between an election being called and Parliament being dissolved to allow for any outstanding parliamentary business to be finished.

When Parliament is dissolved, every seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant.

All business in the House comes to an end. MPs stop representing their constituencies.

There will be no MPs until after the general election.

The Government does not resign when Parliament is dissolved.

Government ministers remain in charge of their departments, as the role of minister is independent of the role of MP.

Once the election is called, Government activity is restricted during campaigning to ensure that public money is not used to support the party currently in power.

All parties will then launch their manifestos, though there is no set date for manifestos to be launched.

Earlier today Mr Sunak was challenged in PMQs by SNP Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn, who asked Mr Sunak whether he intends to call a summer election.

Mr Flynn said: "Speculation is rife, so I think the public deserves a clear answer to a simple question. Does the Prime Minister intend to call a summer general election or is he feart?"

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Mr Sunak replied: "There is, Mr Speaker, spoiler alert, there is going to be a general election in the second half of this year.

"At that moment, the British people will in fact see the truth about the honourable gentleman opposite me, because that will be the choice at the next election Mr Speaker, a party that is not able to say to the country what they would do, a party that would put at risk our hard-earned economic stability, or the Conservatives that are delivering a secure future for our United Kingdom."