Rishi Sunak admits to 'difficult days' after launching general election campaign

Rishi Sunak has admitted having "difficult days" as he claims he's pumped for the campaign and is going to win. 

Speaking to travelling reporters on the flight from Belfast to Birmingham, the prime minister insisted he was "up for the fight" in this campaign and is "absolutely" enjoying it.

Asked if he was going to win, he said: "Damn right."

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The prime minister stunned the nation and his party after his decision to call an election on Wednesday, and immediately embarked on an opening campaign tour of all four nations of the United Kingdom.

However, he gave a glimpse about the challenges he has felt while speaking to broadcasters on the flight. He was asked about the decision of Craig Mackinlay, the Tory MP for South Thanet, to stand down at the next election after having hands and feet amputated because of sepsis.

Mr Mackinlay had hoped to stand again but said the early election made it impossible.

Commenting on the news, the prime minister also hinted at his own challenges: "Whenever I'm having my difficult days, I think about what he's been through and the courage and resilience he's shown.

"All of us can take something from that and be inspired by that."

However, he said he was up for the fight ahead.

"You've been here two days. I'm up for the fight. I will work very hard, you know that about me. I love doing this. I've been doing this since the beginning of the year," he said.

"I've been out and about two or three days a week since the beginning of the year. And I love it. I love talking to people, I love having the debate. I love having the 'q and a' with people, answering their questions. Making you sure they know what I'm about.

"I'm confident that over the next six weeks we're going to have a really good conversation as a country about the future we want."

He was keen to point out the amount of campaigning he has already done.

"I am pumped up. You've been with me right, we started East Midlands yesterday, no Wednesday night, I slept in the East Midlands, didn't I?

"Look yesterday, East Midlands, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, back to the Midlands. I get to spend a night in my own bed tonight."

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak was pushed on whether he would put the smoking ban for those born after 2009 in the manifesto.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves - there will be a manifesto," he said - but he refused to comment on the contents of the document.

Mr Sunak was unable to compel Tory MPs to vote for the smoking legislation recently because of the scale of the rebellion in Tory ranks, including former prime minister Liz Truss.

The prime minister has come under pressure after promising Figen Murray, the mother of a Manchester bombing victim, he would introduce a new law to compel venues to undergo terrorism training before recess.

Mr Sunak said he would still do so - if he won the election.

"I am committed to bringing in that law I said by summer recess - and that will still be possible.

"The election is in the first week of July, parliament will reconvene immediately after that, so there will still be time to bring that in before summer recess and that's what I remain committed to doing, and we've done all the prep work.

"And I had a very constructive conversation with Figen and I actually I start by paying tribute, as I said to her at the time, to her bravery in the face of the tragedy that happened to her family, to have then campaigned for positive change.

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"As I said in parliament a few weeks ago, one of the most inspiring thing about doing my job is meeting people like her.

"So the work has been done on the bill - she met with the home secretary as well after seeing me - James [Cleverly] was with me when I saw her to walk her through some of the detail, and it will be ready to introduce in July."