UK election: Sunak pitches national service at 18

STORY: :: Conservatives pledge national service

for 18-year-olds if they win July's UK election

:: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

:: Rishi Sunak via X

:: Published May 26, 2024

:: Sunak's party, in power since 2010, is lagging

behind in opinion polls

In a video posted by the Conservative Party on the social media platform X, Sunak said the mandatory service could be military or community-based as young adults could choose between spending one weekend a month volunteering over the course of a year, or take up one of 30,000 spaces to spend a year in the armed forces.

The announcement followed Labour Party leader Keir Starmer's comments on Saturday (May 23) that he was in favor of allowing 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.

Sunak's Conservatives lag Labour by a wide margin in opinion polls, which have shown little change in fortunes for the prime minister since his surprise election call last Wednesday (May 22).