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Starmer to seek ‘immediate reset’ with devolved nations on UK-wide tour

Sir Keir Starmer has said he wants an “immediate reset” of the Westminster government’s relationship with the devolved nations ahead of a whistle-stop tour of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

On his first full day in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said “respect” would be at the centre of the bond between the new UK administration and its Irish, Scottish and Welsh counterparts.

He also set out plans to work with metro mayors, promising to “discuss with them their part in delivering the growth that we need across the United Kingdom”.

Edinburgh will be the first stop on Sunday, where Sir Keir said he hoped to “turn disagreement into co-operation” with the devolved SNP government north of the border.

“People across the United Kingdom are bound by shared beliefs. Fundamental values of respect, service and community which define us as a great nation,” he said.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks with Scotland's First Minister John Swinney, as they attend the UK's national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, hosted by the Ministry of Defence on Southsea Common in Portsmouth, Britain June 5, 2024. Andrew Matthews/Pool via REUTERS
Sir Keir Starmer speaks with Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney at the UK’s national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, hosted by the Ministry of Defence on Southsea Common in Portsmouth (Photo: Andrew Matthews/Pool via REUTERS)

“That begins today with an immediate reset of my government’s approach to working with the First and deputy First Ministers, because meaningful cooperation centred on respect will be key to delivering change across our United Kingdom.

“Together we can begin the work to rebuild our country with a resolute focus on serving working people once again.”

Ahead expected talks with First Minister John Swinney, he added: “Our UK Government will place Scotland back at the beating heart of everything we do.

“To the people of Scotland, my message is simple and clear: You are at the heart of how we unleash prosperity across the country. We will rebuild a strong Scotland at the forefront of our decade of national renewal.

“My offer to the Scottish Government is the same. We can turn disagreement into cooperation and, through meaningful cooperation and a genuine seat at the table, deliver change for a generation.”

In his first press conference in Downing Street earlier on Saturday, Sir Keir said he would squeeze in a meeting with the metro mayors across the country before heading to the US.

He said his “door is open” to regional leaders no matter their political party as he promised to turn his back on “tribalism” in politics and usher in an era of “stability” and “moderation”.

Sir Keir said he wanted to “push power and resource out of Whitehall”, and open his door to those with “skin in the game” who know what is best for their communities.

The new Prime Minister is facing a packed first week in office as he prepares to head to the Nato summit in Washington on Tuesday.

The summit – which will be Sir Keir’s debut on the international stage – is expected to focus on discussions on support for Ukraine. He will then host the European Political Community summit in the UK on 18 July.

Addressing reporters in his first Downing Street press conference this afternoon, after sweeping to a historic victory at the polls, Sir Keir said his party had received “a mandate to do politics differently”.

“This will be a politics and a government that is about delivery, is about service. Self-interest is yesterday’s politics,” he added.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Lammy flew to Germany for his first trip abroad as the UK’s top diplomat.

He will travel to Poland and Sweden on Sunday as he seeks to bolster ties with European partners – one of the key priorities of the new administration.

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