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‘Our work is urgent and we begin it today’: Sir Keir Starmer says in first address as prime minister | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer has said “our work is urgent and we begin it today” as he addressed the nation for the first time after he officially became the prime minister.

Speaking in front of Number 10, Sir Keir added: “Weariness in the heart of the nation – a draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future.

“This wound – this lack of trust – can only be healed by actions, not words. I know that. But we can make a start today… public service is a privilege.”

To those who did not vote for the Labour Party, Sir Keir told voters, “my government will serve you”.

“Politics can be a force for good – we will show that,” he added.

He said: “If I asked you now whether you believed that Britain will be better for your children, I know too many of you will say no – and so my government will fight until you believe again.”

The Labour leader had his meeting with the King in Buckingham Palace after Rishi Sunak stepped down following the worst ever general election result for the Conservatives.

Sir Keir now takes over as the first Labour prime minister in 14 years – and the seventh Labour prime minister ever.

Following the meeting, the King’s spokesman said the King requested that Sir Keir formed a new administration.

“Sir Keir accepted His Majesty’s offer and kissed hands upon his appointment as prime minister and first lord of the Treasury,” he said.

Follow live updates: Rishi Sunak tells British public: ‘I am sorry’

King Charles welcomes  Keir Starmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace.
Pic: PA
Image:
The King welcomed Sir Keir Starmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace. Pic: PA

Much of the country was turned red overnight, with Mr Sunak conceding defeat just before 5am on Friday and Sir Keir claiming victory shortly after.

Speaking on the steps of No 10, former prime minister Mr Sunak said he would not leave his role as Conservative Party leader immediately but would do so once a leadership race begins.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” he said.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters.

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

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The outgoing prime minister stood at a lectern outside Number 10 and apologised twice for the failure to win the general election.

Read more:
Labour’s landslide in charts
Gaza effect sees Labour lose seats

Mr Sunak also wished Sir Keir and his family well, adding: “Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public-spirited man who I respect.

“He and his family deserve the very best of our understanding as they make the huge transition to their new lives behind this door and as he grapples with this most demanding of jobs in an increasingly unstable world.”

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