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Keir Starmer’s New Cabinet to Hold First Meeting as Labour Takes Power

London, July 06, 2024, The Europe Today: Sir Keir Starmer’s newly appointed cabinet will convene for the first time on Saturday, marking the first full day of Labour’s administration following a decisive election victory.

Rachel Reeves has made history as the UK’s first female chancellor, while Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner is among a record 11 women in the 25-member cabinet. Sir Keir appointed his cabinet on Friday, following Labour’s landslide win, and emphasized in his inaugural speech as Prime Minister that the work of change “begins immediately.”

Speaking at Downing Street, Sir Keir pledged to restore trust in politics with a “government of service.” The cabinet meeting will focus on Labour’s “first steps,” which include economic stability, reducing NHS waiting lists, and tackling illegal immigration.

David Lammy has assumed the role of Foreign Secretary, while Yvette Cooper has been appointed Home Secretary. Sir Keir, addressing the nation from No 10 Downing Street after being appointed PM by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, vowed, “My government will serve you, politics can be a force for good. The work of change begins immediately, but have no doubt, we will rebuild Britain.”

In his farewell speech, former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized to Tory candidates and acknowledged public dissatisfaction, stating, “I have heard your anger, your disappointment.”

Labour’s victory secured 412 seats, giving the party a majority of 174 in the new House of Commons. The Conservatives were reduced to a historic low of 121 MPs, a net loss of 251 seats. The Liberal Democrats made 63 gains, securing 71 seats. The SNP experienced significant losses, dropping 38 seats to hold nine, with one constituency yet to declare. Reform UK won five seats, including leader Nigel Farage’s in Clacton, while the Greens increased their representation from one to four MPs. Plaid Cymru doubled its seats from two to four.

Within hours of becoming Prime Minister, Sir Keir swiftly appointed his top team and is expected to announce additional ministerial roles. Angela Rayner, alongside her role as Deputy Prime Minister, will oversee the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. A significant majority of the cabinet members were state-educated, with only three having attended private schools.

Notable figures from the last Labour government include Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband and Northern Ireland Secretary Hilary Benn. David Lammy, Pat McFadden (Cabinet Office), and John Healey (Defence) also served as ministers in the previous Labour administration. All cabinet members supported Remain in the 2016 EU referendum. Sir Keir has ruled out rejoining the EU single market during his tenure.

Sir Keir spent his initial hours as PM receiving congratulations from world leaders. US President Joe Biden expressed his eagerness to “further strengthen the special relationship” with the UK. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Prime Minister Starmer for reaffirming the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine. Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris and Sir Keir committed to “reset and strengthen” Anglo-Irish relations “with urgency and ambition,” according to the Irish government.