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‘We did it, you campaigned for it… Change begins now.’ – Labour wins UK General Election

3 weeks ago

‘We did it, you campaigned for it… Change begins now.’ – Labour wins UK General Election
Keir Starmer to become Prime Minister. Credit: PA

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said ‘a weight has been lifted’ off the British people as he prepared to formally become prime minister.

Keir Starmer will be the UK’s new Labour prime minister after a Conservative rout saw former premier Liz Truss and 11 serving Cabinet members lose their seats.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he took responsibility for the electoral mauling inflicted on his party as it suffered its worst ever result.

At a victory rally in London, Keir Starmer said the country can now “get its future back”.

He told jubilant activists “We did it”, adding: “Change begins now.”

It marks a spectacular turnaround since 2019, when Boris Johnson won an 80-seat Conservative majority and Labour suffered its worst result since 1935.

Keir Starmer to become Prime Minister. Credit: PA
Keir Starmer to become Prime Minister. Credit: PA

Keir Starmer said: “Four-and-a-half years of work changing the party, this is what it is for – a changed Labour Party ready to serve our country, ready to restore Britain to the service of working people.

“And, across our country, people will be waking up to the news, relief that a weight has been lifted, a burden finally removed from the shoulders of this great nation.

“And now we can look forward, walk into the morning, the sunlight of hope, pale at first but getting stronger through the day, shining once again, on a country with the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back.”

The Labour leader’s speech at the Tate Modern art gallery came shortly after Mr Sunak publicly conceded defeat.

At his acceptance speech after being re-elected in Richmond and Northallerton, Mr Sunak said: “The Labour Party has won this General Election and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory.”

Mr Sunak added: “The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight, there is much to learn… and I take responsibility for the loss.”

On a dramatic night:

  • Ms Truss lost to Labour in Norfolk South West, where she had been defending a notional majority of more than 24,000.
  • Eleven ministers who sat around the Cabinet table were ousted, comfortably exceeding the previous record of seven set in 1997
  • Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Welsh Secretary David TC Davies, Transport Secretary Mark Harper, Attorney General Victoria Prentis and veterans minister Johnny Mercer lost to Labour.
  • Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, Science Secretary Michelle Donelan and Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer lost to the Liberal Democrats.
  • Chief whip Simon Hart lost to Plaid Cymru.
  • Tory deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis and former cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg were beaten by Labour.
  • Party chairman Richard Holden won by just 20 votes in Basildon and Billericay and outgoing Chancellor Jeremy Hunt held off a Lib Dem challenge in Godalming and Ash.
  • Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn held on to his seat as an independent.
  • Reform UK leader Nigel Farage won a Commons seat at his eighth attempt and promised his party would “stun all of you” as it picked up four Commons seats.
  • The Greens also picked up four seats, including co-leader Carla Denyer defeating shadow culture secretary Thangam Debbonaire in Bristol Central.
  • Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth, who played a prominent role in the party’s media campaign, lost his seat to an independent as Labour’s stance on Gaza cost them votes.
  • Labour has exceeded 400 Commons seats, with the Conservatives set to fall well below their previous low of 156 MPs set in 1906.
Tories out - Rishi Sunk - Credit: PA
Tories out – Rishi Sunk – Credit: PA

The result is likely to trigger a fresh round of infighting within the Tory Party as MPs scramble to replace Mr Sunak, who is expected to resign in the wake of the defeat.

Keir Starmer and the Labour Party will be gathering in Liverpool from September 22-25 for its first conference while in power for many years.

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