Keir Starmer appoints a cabinet of strong women and promises ‘stability’

Keir Starmer appoints a cabinet of strong women and promises ‘stability’
Keir Starmer appoints a cabinet of strong women and promises ‘stability’

“Stability and moderation”. These were the two words chosen consciously by the Labour Party member. Keir Starmer in its debut as premierunder the perpetual threat of rain in Downing Street and after having swept Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party off the electoral map, with a “supermajority” that was very close to that achieved by Tony Blair in 1997 (412 to 121 MPs).

“Change starts immediately,” Starmer announced, and two hours after his debut as Prime Minister he announced the formation of his cabinet, captained by the two most important women in their team: the ‘number two’ Angela Rayner will be the deputy prime minister and Rachel Reeves becomes the first female Treasury Secretary. Starmer has filled out the top posts with David Lammy (Exteriors), Yvette Cooper (Interior) and John Healey (Defending).

Starmer has offered himself as the premier of “stability and moderation.” The leader accepted minutes before the formation of the new Government after meeting with King Carlos in the Buckingham Palacehours after its completion supermajority of 412 deputies compared to 121 achieved by the Conservative Party the Rishi Sunak.

In a brief and straightforward message, with no pause for applause, Starmer invited the British people to join “the mission of national renewal” and to leave behind the “noisy spectacle” of the last 14 years of conservative governments. “The lack of trust can only be healed with actions and not with words,” he warned.

Finally supported by his “invisible” wife, Victoria, dressed in symbolic red, the Labour leader remained faithful to the slogan of maximum caution until the finish line. “I will fight until you believe again in what the Government can do,” he said. without offering the slightest glimpse of their agenda“We will rebuild the country brick by brick (…) And we will ensure that the four nations of the United Kingdom remain united in the face of the challenges of an insecure world.”

Starmer assured that his cabinet will not bear the weight of the “doctrine”repeatedly reiterated his vision of politics as a “public service” and promised to “put country before party.” “It’s very clear that we need a major reset, a rediscovery of who we are,” he concluded. “One of the strengths of this nation has always been our ability to find our way to calmer waters.”

Opinions were divided among analysts over the vagueness of his speech and the lack of concrete proposals, something that was also criticized during the campaign. But his aim was to change tone, heal wounds and appeal to non-Labor voters, including a mention of the “dedication and hard work” of his predecessor.

Rishi Sunak left Downing Street through the back door, having handed the Conservative Party its worst result in recent history in terms of the number of MPs. “I am sorry,” he said in his last message to the British people as Prime Minister. “I have heard your anger and frustration, and I take responsibility for this defeat (…) It has been a difficult day at the end of many difficult days.”

Despite the constant references to the “Starmer tsunami” and the “Labour landslide”, a closer look at the results leads to different conclusions. The overwhelming gap in the number of MPs, with the “red stain” spread across England, Wales and Scotland, contrasts with Labour’s final lead of 11 points in the total vote (35% to 24%), almost half of what the polls had predicted.

“The clave has been in the dramatic collapse from support to Conservative Party by 20%“stressed Professor John Curtice, author of the exit poll that accurately predicted the result. “What has happened is a huge drain of votes to Reform UK, particularly in the areas where Brexit won.”

The populist party of Nigel Farage reached 15% of the votes and was the second largest party in dozens of constituencies. The Reform UK leader won by a wide margin against the Conservatives in his Clacton constituency and managed to get his foot in Westminster on the eighth attempt. The single-member majority system (first-past-the-post (in English) however limited the impact of Reform UK and in the end it will have four MPs, the same number as the Green Party with 7% of the votes.

The disproportion is even more obvious in the case of Liberal Democratic Partywhich with 13% of the votes won 71 seats, “the best results in a generation” according to its leader Ed Davey. Tactical voting allowed the Lib Dems to fight very specific battles against the Conservatives in their traditional strongholds, especially the “blue wall” in the south of England.

He Scottish National Party (SNP) of John Swinney was the other big loser with its worst results since 2010. Its representation in Westminster was reduced from 38 to 9 deputies due to the “reconquest” undertaken by the Labour Party, which won the six seats in the independence stronghold of Glasgow.

Sinn Fein The party has finally confirmed its position as the party with the most votes in Northern Ireland, in contrast to the decline of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The republican party, which is already at the head of the regional government, does not plan to break its abstentionist policy for the moment and its seven seats will remain vacant for the time being.

 
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