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UK PM Keir Starmer creates 'Mission Delivery Boards' for new Cabinet

The new Prime Minister restated the Labour government's commitment to growing the economy, which his administration is relying on to deliver vital investment in public services without hiking taxes or borrowing more cash.
Last Updated : 06 July 2024, 14:30 IST

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London: British Prime Minister Keir Starmer on Saturday presided over his first Cabinet meeting and created “Mission Delivery Boards” for his ministers, including British Indian Culture Secretary Lisa Nandy, to drive through the “change” he said the public had voted for in the general election.

The newly-elected leader addressed his first televised press conference as Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street right after the meeting to update the country on how he intends to meet the targets he has set for the new Labour Party government, including fixing a “broken” National Health Service (NHS).

"I reminded the entire Cabinet that we will be judged on actions not on words," said Starmer.

“At the Cabinet meeting, I also discussed delivery, how we would put into action the plan that we have set out in our manifesto. We will have Mission Delivery Boards to drive through the change that we need, and I will be chairing those boards to make sure that it's clear to everyone that they are my priorities in government,” he said.

Starmer, 61, also pointed to a series of phone calls he has already had with world leaders, which included a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier on Saturday, ahead of his first international tour next week for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) summit in Washington.

Before the foreign tour, the new Prime Minister said he would be touring each part of the United Kingdom, starting with Scotland to be followed by Northern Ireland and Wales.

"For the first time in 20-plus years we have a majority in England, in Scotland and in Wales and that is a clear mandate to govern for all four corners of the United Kingdom and therefore I shall set off tomorrow [Sunday] to be in all four nations," said Starmer.

“It is of course an important time for NATO. It is for me to be absolutely clear that the first duty of my government is security and defence and to make clear our unshakable support of NATO towards Ukraine,” he said, with reference to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

It is quite unusual for a new leader to kick off with a Cabinet meeting on the first weekend after being voted in and the Saturday morning Cabinet meeting is being seen as a sign that Starmer wants to project a “mindset” shift with the regime change at Downing Street.

In response to a question, he admitted that he and his family haven’t "quite unpacked yet" but will be moving into their new home at No. 10 Downing Street soon.

"I've got a basic understanding of the rooms I've used so far here," he said smiling.

When pressed on the future of some policies of the former Tory government, Starmer confirmed that the Rwanda scheme of deporting illegal migrants to the African country will be abandoned in favour of a new plan to tackle the problem.

The new Prime Minister restated the Labour government's commitment to growing the economy, which his administration is relying on to deliver vital investment in public services without hiking taxes or borrowing more cash.

The new Labour-led government, elected with a solid 174-seat majority, faces a series of challenges upon taking office, including a humongous NHS waiting list of millions of patients, an overstretched prison system and sluggish economic growth.

Nandy was appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport among 11 women picked for top jobs by Starmer as he got straight to work after a landslide Labour general election win on Friday.

Nandy, 44, took to social media to say it was an “unbelievable privilege” to be heading the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“From rugby league to Royal Opera, our cultural and sporting heritage runs through our towns, villages and cities and is one of our country’s greatest assets...The hard work begins today,” she said.

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Published 06 July 2024, 14:30 IST

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