Britain’s New Prime Minister Takes Office after Landslide Election Victory

Incoming British Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria arrive at Number 10 Downing Street, following the results of the election, in London, Britain. REUTERS/Phil Noble

By Kylie Maclellan, William James and Sarah Young, Reuters. Sir Keir Starmer is Britain’s new Prime Minister after the Labour Party swept into power to claim one of its biggest parliamentary majorities in history.

Starmer pledged to use his massive electoral majority to rebuild the country, saying he wanted to take the heat out of politics after years of upheaval and strife.

Standing outside his new office and residence at Number 10 Downing Street, Starmer acknowledged the scale of the challenge after his party’s landslide victory in a parliamentary election that ended 14 years of Conservative government.

He warned that any improvements would take time, and he would need to first rebuild faith in politics.

“This lack of trust can only be healed by actions, not words. I know that,” he said.

“Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact, especially if you did not, I say to you directly – My government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that.”

Starmer was greeted by huge cheers and took time before making his speech to shake hands with and hug aides and well-wishers who lined Downing Street – scenes that were reminiscent of Labour predecessor Tony Blair’s arrival in government in 1997.

Standing behind a lectern, he said he understood that many Britons were disillusioned with politics after years of scandal and chaos under the Conservatives, who were roundly rejected in Thursday’s election, suffering a historic loss.
Starmer said the rejection signalled that Britain was ready for a reset: “Because no matter how fierce the storms of history, one of the great strengths of this nation has always been our ability to navigate away to calmer waters.”

The centre-left Labour won a massive majority in the 650-seat parliament, prompting Rishi Sunak’s resignation on Friday morning, before Starmer went to meet King Charles and be formally named prime minister.

He said he would fight every day to rebuild trust, saying Britain would have a “government unburdened by doctrine”, underlining something he had repeated during the campaign – that he would put country first, party second.

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To defy, quietly, those who have written our country off. You have given us a clear mandate, and we will use it to deliver change.”

The election result has upended British politics. Labour won more than 410 seats, an increase of 211, while the Conservatives, the western world’s most successful party, lost 250 lawmakers, including a record number of senior ministers and former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Sunak’s Conservatives suffered the worst performance in the party’s long history as voters punished them for a cost of living crisis, failing public services and a series of scandals.

“I take full responsibility for this loss, Sunak said outside Downing Street.

“To the country I would like to say first and foremost I am sorry,” adding he would stay as Conservative leader until the party was ready to appoint his replacement.