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Keir Starmer appointed Prime Minister by King Charles III

Photo: Yui Mok Pool via Associated Press British Labor leader Keir Starmer appointed prime minister by King Charles III

Sylvain Peuchmaurd – Agence France-Presse and Germain Moyon – Agence France-Presse in London

Posted at 7:17 a.m. Updated at 7:44 a.m.

  • Europe

The United Kingdom has a new prime minister: Keir Starmer was formally tasked on Friday by King Charles III to form a new government, following the Labour Party's landslide victory in the general elections.

This is the first time since 2010 that Labour (centre-left) will lead the country, after 14 years of Conservative governments and a succession of crises: austerity, Brexit, soaring prices and even the waltz of Prime Ministers.

As usual, Buckingham Palace published a photo of the sovereign receiving the new head of government.

After leaving Buckingham Palace, Keir Starmer, a 61-year-old former lawyer, must deliver his first words as prime minister at the door of 10 Downing Street.

A bit earlier in the morning, his predecessor Rishi Sunak, 44, returned to present his resignation to the sovereign.

In his last speech as prime minister , he said he was “sorry” to the British. “You have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change, and your judgment is the only one that counts,” he declared, taking responsibility for this failure and announcing his imminent resignation as leader of the party conservative.

Among the first meetings awaiting Keir Starmer, the NATO 75th anniversary summit next week in Washington.

“Change starts now,” he declared at dawn, reiterating his promise of “national renewal.” “I don’t promise it’ll be easy. It's not enough to press a button to change a country. It requires hard work, “patient”, “determined”, he said.

According to the almost complete results, Labor won 412 seats , well beyond the threshold of 326 to obtain an absolute majority in the House of Commons and be able to govern alone. This is just below Tony Blair's historic score in 1997 (418).

The Conservative Party emerges with its worst result since the start of the 20th century: 121 MPs elected, compared to 365 five years ago under Boris Johnson.

Several heavyweights in the Conservative Party were swept away by a wave of rejection. Among them, former Prime Minister Liz Truss and Defense Ministers Grant Shapps as well as Parliamentary Relations Minister Penny Mordaunt who was seen as a possible future party leader.

Keir Starmer appointed Prime Minister by King Charles III

Photo: Paul Ellis Agence France-Presse “Your judgment is the only one that counts,” Rishi Sunak admitted Friday morning before presenting his resignation to King Charles III.

“Hard choices”

Keir Starmer knows it: the British are waiting for him.

After “the last few difficult months and years,” Ramsey Sargent, 49, can’t wait “to see what happens.” “There is enormous pressure on the new prime minister,” this 49-year-old woman told AFP.

Abdul Muqtvar, 40, judges that “British politics has not made the slightest progress for around ten years”, “it will be interesting to see how Labor does”. “If they don't succeed, I think we will have another change of government at the next election.”

Throughout the campaign, Keir Starmer, entered politics only nine years ago, promised the return of “stability” and “seriousness”, with very rigorous management of public expenditure.

The future government will have to make “difficult choices” in the face of “the scale of the challenge”, warned Rachel Reeves, who will become Finance Minister, a first for a woman in the United Kingdom.

Keir Starmer promises to transform the country just as he straightened out, without qualms, Labor after succeeding the very left-wing Jeremy Corbyn in 2020, refocusing the party on the economic level and fighting against anti-Semitism.

He says he wants to revive growth, restore public services, strengthen workers' rights, reduce immigration and bring the United Kingdom closer to the European Union — without returning to Brexit , a taboo subject of the campaign.

After his party's victory, he received congratulations from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for whom the two countries would be allies “against all odds and tides.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also congratulated Keir Starmer, after their “first exchange”. “We will continue the work […] for our bilateral cooperation, for the peace and security of Europe, for climate and AI,” Mr. Macron wrote on X.

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Hard right

In this completely redesigned Parliament, the liberal democrats (centrists) once again become the third force, with 71 deputies.

In a major upset, the anti-immigration and anti-establishment party Reform UK entered Parliament with four seats. Its leader, the hard-right figure Nigel Farage, became an MP on his eighth attempt.

The former Brexit herald hailed the start of a “revolt against the establishment”.

In Scotland, the pro-independence Scottish National Party suffered a serious setback: they won only nine of the 57 constituencies.

The Greens won four seats, compared to just one previously, in a House of Commons that will have a record number of at least 261 women, compared to 220 in 2019.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116