Home News Keir Starmer vows ‘national recovery’ in first speech as UK prime minister

Keir Starmer vows ‘national recovery’ in first speech as UK prime minister

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In his first national address as prime minister, Keir Starmer said Britain had “voted decisively for change and for national renewal” and promised to lead a pragmatic government to restore hope and the country’s confidence in politics and public services.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street under an overcast afternoon sky, Starmer began by praising his predecessor, Rishi Sunak, who had given a brief farewell speech at the same venue hours earlier, before speaking of his own ambitions.

“We need to move forward together,” Starmer said. He acknowledged that there were still challenges ahead and that the election result was lopsided, with Labour winning its largest parliamentary majority in decades but a low turnout reflecting public frustration with Britain’s political and economic problems.

“There is no doubt that the work of change will begin immediately,” he said.

The Labour leader’s limousine arrived at Downing Street from Buckingham Palace, minutes after King Charles III invited him to form a government. Starmer, accompanied by his wife Victoria, thanked cheering supporters before speaking, many waving Union Jacks, mirroring the welcome given to the last Labour leader who defeated the Conservatives in a general election – Tony Blair in 1997.

Starmer did not mention many specific policies in his speech, but only talked about a government “not bound by dogma”, promising to serve all British people pragmatically, unite the country, and govern with respect and humility.

“Whether you voted Labour or not – in fact, especially if you didn’t vote Labour – I’m going to tell you straight: ‘My government will work for you’,” he said. “Politics can be a force for good. We are going to prove it.”

He said the British people had given Labour “a clear mandate and we will use that to deliver change, to restore service and respect to politics, to end the era of noisy politics, to bring more ease to your lives and to unite our country.”

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