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Great Britain: Sunak announces resignation as party leader – Starmer new prime minister

Great Britain: Sunak announces resignation as party leader – Starmer new prime minister
Great Britain: Sunak announces resignation as party leader – Starmer new prime minister

The Conservative Party of Great Britain has suffered a historic defeat. The current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is drawing the consequences. And his successor is in office.

The leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has been appointed the new Prime Minister of Great Britain by King Charles II. The palace released a photo showing Charles and Starmer shaking hands. Starmer has accepted the appointment, it said. In his first appearance as head of government, Starmer promised a return to stability and growth. The people have chosen change, he said.

The country needs a fresh start, the 61-year-old Labour politician stressed in Downing Street. “Our work is urgent and we are starting today,” he announced. But he also admitted that this cannot be achieved in the short term and showed understanding for the disillusionment with politics in the country. “This wound, this lack of trust, can only be healed by actions, not words,” said Starmer. He added: “My government will fight until you can believe again.”

Rishi Sunak wants to resign as Tory leader

Starmer’s Labour Party won 412 seats in the election, significantly more than the 326 seats needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons. The ruling Conservative Tories only won 121 seats, the worst result in their history.

The party lost its majority and, after almost all votes had been counted, only had 120 of 650 seats. In the last election, it had won 365 seats in the House of Commons. Former Prime Minister and Tory leader Rishi Sunak then announced consequences: he wants to step down as party leader as soon as the formal arrangements for the succession have been clarified, he announced in London this morning. In a speech, he apologized to voters: “I am sorry.” He had given everything, but the verdict was clear. “I have heard your anger and your disappointment and I take responsibility for this defeat,” he said. He wished his successor Keir Starmer success.

Sunak moves out of Downing Street

The Conservatives have been in power in Britain for 14 years. Sunak took over the party leadership and thus the office of head of government in October 2022.

He succeeded Prime Minister Liz Truss, whose policies had caused turbulence on the financial markets and who had to resign after 49 days in office. Her party colleague Boris Johnson had also previously been forced to resign following various scandals.

According to political scientist John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, dissatisfaction with Sunak’s two predecessors was the main reason for the Tories’ crushing defeat.

Sunak was considered aloof

Sunak, who previously worked in the financial sector and is married to entrepreneur Akshata Murty, is worth millions, which also cemented his reputation for being out of touch.

Sunak won his own constituency by a clear margin. Sunak said he was looking forward to spending more time in his constituency in the coming weeks. The Conservative Party will now form the opposition in the House of Commons and is facing a battle over direction. It is expected to face a further shift to the right.

Who will be the new opposition leader?

After the heavy loss of seats, the party has been thinned out. Several potential successors have lost their seats. Among them are Defence Secretary Grant Shapps and the former Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Penny Mordaunt.

Trade Minister Kemi Badenoch, on the other hand, who has also been given good chances, defended her mandate. She is on the right wing within the party, as is former Interior Minister Suella Braverman, who is also considered a promising candidate for the party leadership.

The more moderate potential candidates are the current Home Secretary James Cleverly and the current Secretary of State Tom Tugendhat. When asked whether he would run for the post, Cleverly gave a rather evasive answer in an interview with Sky News.

The Tories are under pressure from the right, from the right-wing populist party Reform UK. Its leader Nigel Farage had lured voters away from the far right with his surprise candidacy. He once played a key role in driving Brexit forward and is considered a supporter of former US President Donald Trump. He also entered Parliament and will lead a small group of MPs. His declared aim is to take over the Conservative Party or make it redundant.

Note: This article has been updated to include additional information.

Source: Stern

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