Keir Starmer is asked to form a government by King Charles Keir Starmer is asked to form a government by King Charles 

Labour win UK elections in landslide

Kir Starmer has been formally appointed Britain’s new prime minister after his Labour Party’s landslide victory in Thursday’s general election. In his first speech as premier Starmer promised a government of service and said the work of change would begin immediately. Results from the elections showed that Labour had won a huge majority of seats in parliament while the outgoing Conservative party slumped to its worst-ever result with just over 120 seats.

By Susy Hodges, London

Speaking outside the official residence of the prime minister in London, Starmer said people in Britain had voted decisively for change and pledged to embark on a mission of national renewal and rebuilding the country. He urged Britons to join his government of service, saying the country needed to move forward together.  

Starmer was formally appointed prime minister by Britain’s King Charles shortly after the outgoing Conservative premier Rishi Sunak had handed in his resignation to the monarch.

Earlier in his final speech as premier, Sunak apologised to the country for his party’s crushing defeat, saying he had heard the peoples’ anger and disappointment.

Labour’s landslide victory has upended British politics. The party has increased its share of seats in parliament by over 210 in marked contrast to its disastrous result in the 2019 elections where Labour suffered its worst defeat in nearly a century. 

But really stands out in this election result is the scale of the Conservative Party’s defeat. The party which had ruled Britain for 14 years saw 250 of its lawmakers lose their seats in parliament including a record number of senior ministers. As surveys suggested, the election outcome underscored peoples’ desire for change here after the infighting, turmoil and scandals that marred the Conservatives’ rule.

However, Starmer comes to power at a time when Britain is facing a series of daunting challenges.

Living standards have fallen, public services are over-stretched, especially the National Health Service, and Britain’s tax burden is set to hit its highest level in nearly 80 years while net debt is almost equivalent to annual economic output.

Starmer has promised to improve relations with the European Union (EU) to resolve issues created by Britain’s vote to leave the EU in 2016. Although Starmer voted to remain in the EU, he has repeatedly said rejoining the bloc is not on the table.

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05 July 2024, 16:15