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Britain swings to the center-left in a historic U.K. election landslide

London – An earthquake in British politics.

With the rise of far-right parties in France and elsewhere in Europe, the UK has swung in the opposite direction. Official election results on Friday showed a landslide victory for the country's center-left Labor Party, its first victory in 19 years under Tony Blair's leadership.

New Prime Minister Keir Starmer hailed his victory as historic, declaring on Friday morning: “Change starts now.”

Later on Friday, he made his first speech outside the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street, saying he would lead a "service government" with a "mission of national regeneration" and promising to "rebuild Britain again" .

For the Conservatives – the party of Margaret Thatcher, Boris Johnson and outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – it was the worst defeat in their party's nearly 200-year history. Prominent lawmakers including former Prime Minister Liz Truss, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Penny Mordaunt lost their seats in Parliament. Sunak retained his seat, but resigned as leader of the Conservative Party on Friday and apologized to the country.

"I'm sorry, I've done everything I can in this role, but you have sent a clear signal that the British government must change," Sunak told reporters as he and his wife left the Prime Minister's residence. minister at 10 Downing Street for the trip. last time: “I am disappointed and bear responsibility for this loss.”

After 14 years in power, the Conservatives have been punished at the ballot box for all the upheavals that occurred under their mandate: Brexit, which most Britons now regret; The Johnson scandal, in which the then prime minister threw parties while the country was under coronavirus lockdown, which Johnson then lied about; And Johnson's successor, Truss, has a disastrous budget for 2022, which has sent shockwaves through financial markets.

According to the United Nations, Britain now has more poor children than any other rich country. Without London, some estimate that Mississippi is poorer than Mississippi, the poorest state in the United States.

The Green Party and Nigel Farage's British Reform Party also had a good evening.

Small parties also made progress in these elections. The environmentalist Green Party had its most successful election night ever, winning a record four seats – up from one in the last parliamentary election in 2019. The centrist Liberal Democrats doubled their representation in Parliament.

Britain's far-right, anti-immigration Reform Party will enter parliament for the first time, with five seats, including one for its leader, Brexiteer Nigel Farage, who has stood and lost seven times before. Journalists earlier reported that the party won four seats, but the fifth seat went to the Islah party after a vote recount.

In Scotland, the once-dominant Scottish National Party – which had pushed for Scottish independence from Britain – was defeated, with Labor winning a majority of seats from the SNP.

In Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, nationalist Sinn Féin – which wants Northern Ireland to gain independence from Britain and annex the Republic of Ireland to the south – won the largest number of seats, becoming the region's largest party in the United Kingdom. Parliament. .

However, it was not a complete victory for Labor. The party lost four previous strongholds to pro-Palestinian independent candidates, as anger over the war in Gaza led to shocking losses for the party on a night of victory.

World leaders congratulate Starmer

Congratulations poured in for Starmer on Friday.

President Biden spoke with the new prime minister on Friday and told him he "looked forward to working closely" with him, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. She highlighted "the special relationship between our countries" and that Biden will welcome Starmer to Washington next week at the NATO leaders' summit.

The leaders of Australia and New Zealand also congratulated the new prime minister.

Meanwhile, China's reaction was: "China hopes to work with the UK to push China-UK relations onto the right track on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation" , Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Friday.

Starmer is already Prime Minister

Unlike the lame duck period in the United States or elsewhere, after a general election in the United Kingdom, the monarch invites the leader of the party that won the most seats in the House of Commons to become Prime Minister and form a government .

Labor leader Starmer, a knight, has already met King Charles III and officially become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

He has since begun announcing the makeup of his cabinet, including naming Rachel Reeves as the first female Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is similar to Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer.


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