Keir Starmer becomes Britain’s new PM

UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has become Britain's new prime minister after meeting King Charles at Buckingham Palace. The process of forming a Cabinet is already underway.

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer is officially prime minister after he received the blessing of King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

Britain’s King Charles has asked Labour leader Keir Starmer to form a new government [Image: Yui Mok/AP Photo/picture alliance]
The monarch invited Starmer to form a government in a ceremony known as the “kissing of hands.”A photo of the occasion was the official announcement of Starmer’s new title. Starmer headed to Downing Street immediately afterward.

Rachel Reeves becomes UK’s first finance minister

Rachel Reeves has become the first ever female Chancellor of the Exchequer [Image: Jack Hill/The Times Ceo Summit/PA Media/dpa/picture alliance]
Labour leader Keir Starmer has appointed Rachel Reeves as finance minister, known as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, for his new Labour government.The appointment makes Reeves the first woman to hold the role. It is considered one of the most important ministerial positions and was the job that shot Rishi Sunak to the top of the party and made it possible for him to later become prime minister.

David Lammy is new UK foreign secretary

David Lammy served as the shadow foreign secretary while Labour were in opposition [Image: Maja Smiejkowska/REUTERS]
Labour lawmaker David Lammy has been appointed Britain’s next foreign secretary, promising to reset relations with the European Union and push for a ceasefire in Gaza.Labour has said lasting peace and security in the Middle East are to be an immediate focus.

Previously shadow foreign affairs minister, Lammy travelled widely before the election, particularly to the United States.

He has been working to build ties with Republicans after once writing that former US President Donald Trump was a “woman-hating, neo-Nazi sociopath.”

Lammy has strong links with top Democrats and is a close friend of fellow Harvard Law School alumni and former President Barack Obama.

Starmer appoints Yvette Cooper as Home Secretary

Yvette Cooper has several years experience working as a minister in previous Labour governments [Image: Lucy North/PA Wire/dpa/picture alliance]
Keir Starmer has appointed Yvette Cooper to the post of Home Secretary, Britain’s equivalent of an interior minister.Cooper previously served in Gordon Brown’s Labour Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2008 to 2009 and as Work and Pensions Secretary from 2009 to 2010.

Her first ministerial role came under Tony Blair when she was responsible for housing and planning.

Starmer appoints Angela Rayner as deputy

Angela Raynor is the deputy leader of the Labour Party [Image: Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERS]
Britain’s new Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed Angela Rayner as his deputy in government.Rayner is Starmer’s first confirmed appointment to his cabinet and will also hold the brief of minister for “leveling up” (of regional infrastructure) housing and communities, Downing Street said in a statement.

In opposition, Labour members elected Rayner as deputy leader at the same time they voted for Starmer to be leader in 2020.

Labour’s landslide on just over a third of vote

The Labour Party won the 2024 UK general election by a huge margin in terms of seats — 412 seats out of the total 650 in the UK parliament — but with only about a third of the popular vote.

While Labour only won 33.7% of all votes cast, it picked up 412 seats — almost two-thirds of the total — and a bumper majority of 176 seats in the House of Commons. The Conservatives won 23.7% and picked up only 120 seats.

Effectively, Thursday’s election was 650 separate and unconnected mini-votes. In every constituency, the candidate with the most votes, and not necessarily more than 50%, wins. A party has the numbers to govern if it wins 326 of these races.

Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system for each constituency means that the number of seats a party wins depends largely on how well their votes are spread.

This time, the Conservatives appeared to lose votes to the anti-immigration Reform UK party, thereby splitting their vote in many constituencies, while Labour and centrist Liberal Democrat supporters were encouraged to adopt tactical voting.

Labour’s vote share this time around is far lower than in the 2019 general election — when the party lost by a wide margin, on 262  seats, despite securing 40% of votes.

Brexit proved particularly divisive in many traditional Labour areas. While the Brexit Party — a predecessor to Reform — withdrew candidates in normally Conservative seats to avoid splitting the right-wing vote, it did not do so in Labour ones.

Source: DW

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