UK’s Starmer promises ‘national renewal’ after commanding Labour win | Politics News

Labour Party leader says UK has chance to ‘get its future back’ after 14 years of Conservative rule.

The UK’s Prime Minister-elect Keir Starmer has promised to kick-start an era of “national renewal” after his Labour Party brought an end to 14 years of Conservative rule.

In a dawn victory speech on Friday, Starmer, 61, said the British people had delivered an opportunity for the UK to “get its future back” and restore the country to “the service of working people”.

“Our task is nothing less than renewing the ideas that hold this country together. National renewal. Whoever you are, wherever you started in life, if you work hard, if you play by the rules, this country should give you a fair chance to get on,” Starmer told supporters.

“It should always respect your contribution, and we have to restore that.”

Starmer, a former public prosecutor and human rights lawyer, said that he would strive to show that politics could be a “force for good”.

“Make no mistake, that is the great test of politics in this era. The fight for trust is the battle that defines us our age. It is why we’ve campaigned so hard on demonstrating we are fit for public service,” he said.

“Service is the precondition for hope. Respect: the bond that can unite the country. Together, the values of this changed Labour party are the guiding principle for a new government. Country first, party second.”

Labour sailed past the 326-seat threshold for a parliamentary majority early on Friday morning, putting it on course for a landslide victory against outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives.

Exit polls suggested the party would pick up 410 seats to give it a 170-seat majority in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives were on track to win 131 seats, which would be the worst result in its history.

Sunak said he took responsibility for the defeat after voters “delivered a sobering verdict” on his government.

Labour’s commanding win comes amid widespread discontent with the state of the economy and public services.

Under the Tories, economic growth flatlined, the cost of living soared, and hospital waiting lists trebled.

According to one analysis by a prominent research institute, Britons had on average £10,200 ($12,950) less to spend or save in total during 2010-2022, when compared with 1998-2010 economic growth rates.

Starmer, who took over from left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2020, campaigned heavily on reviving the UK’s economic fortunes amid widespread anxiety over perceived national decline.

As part of efforts to bring Labour back to the centre after its worst defeat since 1935 at the last election, Starmer pledged not to raise income taxes or VAT, and to make wealth creation a top priority.

Starmer, however, is widely seen as having limited room to make bold policy choices as the UK buckles under its highest tax and debt burdens in decades.

In his victory speech on Friday, Starmer acknowledged that the task ahead would not be easy.

“Changing a country isn’t like flicking a switch. It’s hard work: patient work, determined work. And we will have to get moving immediately,” he said.

“But even when the going gets tough – and it will – remember, tonight and always, what this is all about.”

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