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Mon, 22 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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Rishi Sunak To Quit As Tory Leader After Labour Landslide

Rishi Sunak at his seat count overnight (Alamy)

2 min read

Rishi Sunak has announced he will stand down as Conservative Party leader, as he said he had heard the “anger” of the electorate who have handed Labour a landslide general election victory.

In his resignation speech outside No 10 Downing Street, Sunak said that the public have “sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change”. 

Keir Starmer’s party won more than 410 seats in Thursday’s election, while the Tories struggled to reach 120, as the party lost seats to Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats, as well as the victorious Labour Party. 

Sunak said: “I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss”. 

He apologised to Conservative candidates who had lost their contests, and said that he would step down as party leader, but “not immediately”. 

Instead, he said he would wait until “the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place”. 

Among the high-profile Conservatives who lost their seats were former prime minister Liz Truss, House of Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt narrowly held on to his Godalming and Ash seat with fewer than 1,000 votes. 

Sunak travelled to Buckingham Palace to see the King and formally offer his resignation as Prime Minister. 

Starmer will make the same journey to the Palace, where he will be invited by King Charles III to form a government. 

Addressing Starmer in his speech, Sunak described the Labour leader as "a decent public spirited man who I respect". 

He added: "He and his family deserve the very best of our understanding as they make the huge transition to their new lives" in Number 10. 

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