UK election: Sunak concedes defeat as Starmer’s Labour crosses the line

By Brian Wheeler, BBC Political Reporter

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he accepts responsibility for the Conservative Party’s historic general election defeat.

Sir Keir Starmer has led the Labour Party to a landslide victory and will take over from Sunak as the UK’s prime minister.

Sunak told supporters: “The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight, there is much to learn… and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Speaking in central London, Sir Keir said “change begins now”, adding “it feels good, I have to be honest”.

With more than 500 out of 650 seats declared, Labour is projected to form the next government, with a majority of 166.

The Tories are set for the worst result in their history, with just 136 MPs.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has won a seat in Parliament at his eighth attempt, in Clacton, promising “this is just the first step of something that is going to stun all of you”.

Reform has four MPs so far – including chairman Richard Tice and former Tory Lee Anderson – and is finishing second in many parts of the country, taking large amounts of votes from the Conservatives.

The Scottish National Party is now forecast to be reduced to just eight MPs, as Labour regains dominance in Scotland.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and former minister Sir Jacob-Rees Mogg are among the senior Tories to lose their seats.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defeated his old party to retain his Islington North seat as an independent.

But another high profile former Labour MP, George Galloway, failed to retain the Rochdale seat he won at a by-election in February, losing to Labour’s Paul Waugh.

The Liberal Democrats are benefitting from a collapse in Tory support and are predicted to get 66 MPs – the best result in their history.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, has beaten Labour in Bristol Central and her party is predicted to gain another seat to double their current number of MPs.

Sir Keir’s predicted landslide would be short of the 179 majority won by Tony Blair in 1997.

But it will mean a Labour prime minister in Downing Street for the first time since 2010 and a battle for the future direction of the Conservatives if, as seems likely, Sunak stands down as leader.

Labour’s Rachel Reeves – who looks set to be the first female chancellor in a few hours’ time – said: “We will not let you down and I can’t wait to get started.”

Penny Mordaunt, who lost to Labour by just 780 votes, had been tipped to make another attempt to be Tory leader after the election.

Conceding defeat, she said her party had lost because it “had failed to honour the trust people had placed in it.”

Former attorney general Sir Robert Buckland, the first Tory MP to lose his seat as results began rolling in, told the BBC his party was facing “electoral Armageddon” and Labour’s likely victory was a “big vote for change”.

And he angrily lashed out at colleagues, such as former home secretary Suella Braverman, for what he called “spectacularly unprofessional and ill-disciplined” behaviour during the campaign.

“I’m fed up of personal agendas and jockeying for position,” he added, warning that the upcoming Tory leadership contest was “going to be like a group of bald men arguing over a comb”.

The SNP are “not winning that argument” on Scottish independence, First Minister John Swinney.

“Opinion polls still show that about half the population in Scotland want our country to be independent,” he told the BBC.

“That’s not manifested itself in the election result tonight and that’s something we’ve got to look at very carefully as a party and to think about how we can remedy that situation.”


According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button