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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Dawn of a Labour era in UK as Starmer promises service and Sunak resigns

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Sunak and Starmer

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, has resigned his office as well as headship of the Conservative after the trouncing at the polls by the Labour Party.

Outside Downing Street, his former official residence, he told journalists and others: “I will shortly be seeing His Majesty the King to offer my resignation as Prime Minister.

“To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the Government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgment that matters.

“I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

“Following this result I will step down as party leader – not immediately, but once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place.”

“It is important that after 14 years in government the Conservative Party rebuilds, but also that it takes up its crucial role in opposition professionally and effectively.”

In his own first speech, the new helmsman, Keir Starmer, promised to serve the British people in full. His full speech reads:

“Good afternoon.

“I have just returned from Buckingham Palace where I accepted an invitation from His Majesty the King to form the next Government of this great nation.

“I want to thank the outgoing prime minister, Rishi Sunak. 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 and we pay tribute to that today. And we also recognise the dedication and hard work he brought to his leadership.

“But now our country has voted decisively for change, for national renewal, and a return of politics to public service. When the gap between the sacrifices made by people and the service they receive from politicians grows this big, it leads to a weariness in the heart of a nation, a draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future that we need to move forward together.

“Now this wound, this lack of trust, can only be healed by actions, not words. I know that. But we can make a start today with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that your Government should treat every person in this country with respect.

“If you voted Labour yesterday, we will carry the responsibility of your trust as we rebuild our country. But 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. We’ve changed the Labour Party, returned it to service and that is how we will govern. Country first, party second.

“Yet if I’m honest, service is merely a precondition of hope. And it is surely clear to everyone that our country needs a bigger reset, a rediscovery of who we are.

“Because no matter how fierce the storms of history, one of the great strengths of our nation has always been our ability to navigate a way to calmer waters. And yet, this depends on politicians, particularly those who stand for stability and moderation, as I do, recognising when we must change course.

“For too long now, we’ve turned a blind eye as millions slid into greater insecurity – nurses, builders, drivers, carers, people doing the right thing, working harder every day, recognised at moments like this before, yet as soon as the cameras stopped rolling their lives are ignored. I want to say very clearly to those people, not this time.

“Changing a country is not like flicking a switch. The world is now a more volatile place. This will take a while. But have no doubt that the work of change begins immediately.

“Have no doubt that we will rebuild Britain with wealth created in every community, our NHS back on its feet facing the future, secure borders, safer streets, everyone treated with dignity and respect at work, the opportunity of clean British power cutting your energy bills for good.

“And, brick by brick, we will rebuild the infrastructure of opportunity, the world-class schools and colleges, the affordable homes that I know are the ingredients of hope for working people, and the security that working-class families like mine can build their lives around.

“Because if I asked you now whether you believe that Britain will be better for your children, I know too many of you will say no. And so my government will fight every day until you believe again.

“From now on, you have a government unburdened by doctrine, guided only by the determination to serve your interests, 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, to restore service and respect to politics, end the era of noisy performance, tread more lightly on your lives and unite our country.

“Four nations standing together again, facing down as we have so often in our past the challenges of an insecure world, committed to a calm and patient rebuilding.

“So, with respect and humility, I invite you all to join this government of service in the mission of national renewal. Our work is urgent, and we begin it today. Thank you very much.”

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