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Thu, 18 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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Keir Starmer Will Visit All Four Nations After Election Landslide

(Alamy)

3 min read

Prime Minister Keir Starmer will set off on a series of visits to all four nations of the United Kingdom on Sunday, after he won a landslide victory at the General Election.

Labour won a majority of 172 seats with 34 per cent of the vote on Thursday, the largest parliamentary victory of any political party since 1997. After Starmer visited King Charles to ask to form a Government, the new Prime Minister began appointing his cabinet on Friday. He will finalise his junior ministerial team on Saturday afternoon. 

At his first press conference in Downing Street, the Prime Minister said he would visit all four nations of the United Kingdom after his party gained a majority of seats in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Starmer confirmed he would first travel to Scotland before travelling to Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK's new Prime Minister will also meet the first ministers of the devolved nations where he will begn to establish a working relationship as well as discussing the critical issues facing them. 

After he has visited all four nations of the UK, Starmer will sit in meetings with England's metro mayors including Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham and Ben Houchen. 

"I'm not a tribal politician," he said. "And the principle I operate to, whether it's mayors or other elected representatives, is that where regional leaders want to deliver for their area. Then, regardless of the color of their rosette, my door is open and my government will work with them."

On Tuesday the Prime Minister will go to Washington and represent the UK at the NATO summit. Starmer said he had already taken calls from world leaders where he spoke about international issues such as the war in Ukraine. 

"It is for me to be absolutely clear that the first duty of my government is security and defense, to make clear our unshakable support of NATO. And of course, to reiterate, as I did to President Zelenskyy yesterday, the support that we will have in this country and with our allies towards Ukraine

"Self interest is yesterday's politics. I want a politics and a country that works for you."

Starmer said the central topic at his first cabinet meeting was delivering economic growth for the UK economy. GDP growth in the first quarter was expected to have beeb 0.7 per cent. Interest rates are widely expected to be cut in the last two quarters which will make lending cheaper and reduce people's mortgage payments. 

Starmer also said Rishi Sunak's controversial Rwanda scheme was "dead and buried" and a "gimmick". “It’s never been a deterrent," he said.

Starmer also said the NHS was "broken," adding: "We will not fix it if we are not honest. It is a tough thing to hear if you are in the NHS. If you work in the NHS you put a huge amount in in difficult circumstances, it is unrelenting.

"We have to be honest about this. It's broken and our job now is not just to say who broke it but to get on and start to fix it." 

One thing the Prime Minister referred to in his speech was the state of UK prisons. A surprise appointment on Friday evening had been James Timpson OBE, who is not an elected politican. 

Starmer claimed the new prisons minister has "huge experience" and has invested a huge amount over many years in relation to prisons.

"We do need to be clear about the way in which we use prisons, we need to get away from the fact that for so many people who come out of prison they’re back in prison relatively quickly afterwards, that is a massive problem that we have in this country.”

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