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Labour’s Keir Starmer In Victory Speech

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will be the new UK Prime Minister (File).

New Delhi:

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer delivered a storming victory speech Friday morning after the party swept the UK general election, declaring the country “gets its future back after 14 years (of a Conservative Party government)”. A relieved-looking Prime Minister-elect said, with a grin and to loud cheers, “We did it. You campaigned for it, fought for it, voted for it, and now it has arrived. And it feels good, to be honest.”

Labour crossed the majority mark of 326 – and is on course to match exit poll predictions of over 400 seats, a ‘400 paar‘ in the United Kingdom – in the 650-seat House of Commons early this morning, prompting outgoing PM Rishi Sunak to concede and promise a “peaceful and orderly” handover.

Mr Starmer thanked party workers for their hard work – including nearly five years of revamping and rebranding Labour in the face of Tory dominance – and urged them to savour the moment, but warned them of challenges ahead and pledged his government would work for “national renewal”.

“We did it. Thank you truly… you have changed our country,” Mr Starmer told a sea of supporters at a dawn victory rally in central London, “Four-and-a-half years of work changing this party… this is what it is for. A changed Labour… ready to restore Britain to the service of the working people.”

READ | Labour Sweeps UK Polls, Tories Ousted For 1st Time In 14 Years

“… across our country people will be waking up to the news… relieved a weight has been lifted (and) a burden finally removed from the shoulders of this great nation. Now, we can look forward (and) walk into the morning. The sunlight of hope, pale at first, but getting stronger through the day…”

“(But) a mandate like this comes with a great responsibility… Today we start the next chapter… begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal, and start to rebuild our country,” he said.

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“We have to return politics to public service and show out government can be a force for good,” he said, even as results trickled in from across the country to add to Labour’s already unbeatable lead.

Mr Starmer – who will be sworn in as Prime Minister – won his Holborn and St Pancras seat in despite a sharply reduced majority – from nearly 23,000 votes in 2019 to fewer than 12,000 this time.

Earlier today Rishi Sunak apologised to the Conservative Party and its supporters.

“I am sorry… I take responsibility for the loss,” he said.

READ | “I Am Sorry”: Rishi Sunak Concedes Defeat In UK Polls

Mr Sunak surprised many by calling for an election ahead of schedule – when his party was 20 points behind Labour in opinion polls – believing the gap would reverse, as it has in past elections.

Unfortunately it did not. Mr Sunak did, though, retain his seat of Richmond and Northallerton. He has vowed to continue as an MP even if, as is likely, he will be relieved of party leadership.

“The Labour Party has won this election and I have called Keir Starmer to congratulate him.”

The Conservative suffered defeats in key constituencies, and has been wiped out entirely in Wales – their worst result since 1997 – with Labour making big gains. The party won 27 of Wales’ 32 seats, an increase of five from the last election. Plaid Cymru won four and the Liberal Democrats one.

Labour also made gains in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party – which was defending 48 of 57 seats – has been thumped. First Minister John Swinney called the results “damaging” for his party.

In Glasgow, Labour took all six seats from SNP.

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