Britain's new PM Starmer vows to rebuild UK, heal weariness in heart

Addressing the nation after he officially became the prime minister, Starmer said: 'Our work is urgent and we begin it today'.
Last Updated : 05 July 2024, 13:11 IST

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London: Keir Starmer in his first speech as the UK's new Prime minister on Friday pledged to heal the "weariness in the heart" of Britain and rebuild the country after a landslide Labour victory in the general election.

Addressing the nation after he officially became the prime minister, Starmer said: "Our work is urgent and we begin it today".

Starmer, 61, recognised the “extra effort” his predecessor Rishi Sunak made in becoming the country’s first Asian prime minister.

Starmer became Britain's new Prime Minister and replaced Rishi Sunak after he led the Labour Party to a landslide victory in a landmark UK general election on Thursday with a gain of over 200 seats.

Starmer received the blessing of King Charles III to form a government in a ceremony known as the “kissing of hands.” Earlier, Rishi Sunak, 44, resigned as prime minister after meeting the monarch.

Starmer said the country voted “decisively for change, and a return of politics to public service.” “When the gap between the sacrifices made by people and the service they receive from politicians grows this big, it leads to a weariness in the heart of a nation, a draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future, that we need to move forward together,” Starmer said.

This wound, Starmer said, “can only be healed by action, not words.” He said he intends to start work right away “with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that this government should treat every single person in this country with respect.” Starmer promised to "rebuild" the country's "infrastructure of opportunity... brick by brick".

"You have given us a clear mandate and we will use it to deliver change… and unite our country," he said.

Starmer said that "changing a country is not like flicking a switch" as he acknowledges the world "is more volatile".

"It will take a while," he said.

Starmer told the crowd now that for too long, a blind eye has been turned as "millions slid into greater insecurity".

"With respect and humility, I invite you all to join this government of service in the mission of national renewal," he said.

He said, “My government will serve you, politics can be a force for good”.

Published 05 July 2024, 13:11 IST

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