Starmer becomes UK PM
   Date :06-Jul-2024

Starmer becomes UK PM
By Aditi Khanna
Labour Party secures landslide victory after 14 years, conquers 412 of 650 seats

Conservative Rishi Sunak wins seat but loses power, party gets only 121 seats
KEIR Starmer became UK’s new Prime Minister on Friday and vowed to rebuild Britain, hours after his Labour Party secured a landslide victory in a general election in which the weary voters inflicted a “sobering verdict” on Rishi Sunak-led Conservatives, who suffered their worst electoral drubbing. Starmer, 61, assumed charge as the 58th Prime Minister after his customary audience with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, following Sunak’s meeting with the British monarch. The Labour Party secured 412 seats in the 650-member House of Commons, up 211 from the last election in 2019. Sunak’s Conservatives won just 121 seats, down 250 seats from the previous election. While the Labour had a vote share of 33.7 per cent the Conservatives had 23.7 per cent. “Our country has voted decisively for change, for national renewal and a return of politics for public service,” said Starmer in his inaugural address from a lectern outside 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister. Citing the need for schools and affordable homes, Starmer vowed to “rebuild” the country’s “infrastructure of opportunity”, doing so “brick by brick”. He vowed a “government of service” and spoke of the need for a national “reset”.
The incoming Prime Minister also had warm words for his 44-year-old predecessor, Sunak, who he praised for an added accomplishment. “His achievement as the first British Asian Prime Minister of our country, the extra effort that will have required should not be underestimated by anyone. We pay tribute to that today and recognise that dedication and hard work he brought to his leadership,” he said. While many of his Cabinet colleagues were defeated in the election held on Thursday, Sunak, the country’s first British Indian Prime Minister comfortably held on to his own Richmond and Northallerton seat in northern England with 23,059 votes. The Conservatives were in power for 14 years and the party suffered its worst election defeat in history losing 250 MPs in Thursday’s general election.
A sombre-looking Sunak was joined by his wife Akshata Murty as his future as a member of Parliament was decided and chose to use his acceptance speech to also admit his party’s defeat in winning another term in Government. With some of the most prominent Ministers and MPs including Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss - whose disastrous mini-budget and short-lived premiership last year is being blamed for much of the Tory debacle. Other key Tory heavyweights to lose their seats on a dismal election night for the Conservatives included Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt and Jacob Rees Mogg losing the election, the results being dubbed a “bloodbath” for the Conservatives. However, among the new Tory MPs included British Indian candidate Shivani Raja who beat Labour’s candidate, former deputy mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal, in the closely watched Leicester East constituency. Other British Indian Tories who managed to hold on to their seats included former ministers Priti Patel, Suella Braverman and Claire Coutinho. On the Labour side, several Indian-origin MPs were re-elected including Preet Kaur Gill and Tan Dhesi and some newcomers made their mark such as Jas Athwal and Kanishka Narayan, who became the first British Indian to represent Wales in Parliament. Earlier, Starmer won his seat of Holborn and St.
Pancras in London with 18,884 votes. Another major trend that will dominate the discourse in the coming weeks and months will be in Nigel Farage finally being elected as an MP at his eighth attempt and leading his anti-immigration Reform UK to bagging four first-time seats in the Commons. The Reform leader overturned a 25,000 Conservative majority to take Clacton in Essex by more than 8,000 votes, reflective of a wider trend of the party eating into the Tory votes. Farage, a divisive figure in British politics, dubbed his win as “the first step of something that is going to stun all of you”, describing it as the “beginning of the end” of the Conservative Party.