Rishi Sunak is expected to call a general election for July 4, a contest polls suggest the Tories are on course to lose to Labour.

The Prime Minister will make a statement in Downing Street at 5pm, No 10 said, where he is expected to name the summer polling date.

It comes after the Tory leader declared inflation was “back to normal” in a “major milestone” for the country, following official figures showing inflation slowed to 2.3% in April.

Speculation about an announcement mounted in Westminster as Cabinet ministers were summoned for an unusually timed meeting, with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron cutting short foreign trips to attend.

The Prime Minister is reported to be informing ministers of the election plan at the gathering.