Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has repeated his insistence that the general election will take place in the second half of the year amid mounting speculation he could have his eye on a summer polling day.

Downing Street had refused to rule out a snap general election this morning, with rumours suggesting the Conservatives could be eyeing a July date for polling.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, he was challenged over the date of the vote by SNP Westminster Leader Stephen Flynn, who asked Mr Sunak whether he is intending to call a summer election.

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

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.”

The rumours began to circulate this morning after UK inflation figures fell to their lowest margin in nearly three years.

Rishi Sunak declared inflation was “back to normal” in response to the latest figures, and that “brighter days are ahead”.

The Prime Minister said: “Today marks a major moment for the economy, with inflation back to normal.

“This is proof that the plan is working and that the difficult decisions we have taken are paying off.

“Brighter days are ahead, but only if we stick to the plan to improve economic security and opportunity for everyone.”

It was rumoured the Conservative party would look to capitalise on the fall in inflation figures by announcing a summer general election.

The Sunday Times chief political commentator Tim Shipman said on social media: “Once again there are snap election rumours.

“I have been a sceptic every time so far. More importantly, people I trust who are in the loop have told me it's nonsense.

“This time, those people are silent.”