UK’s PM-elect Keir Starmer pledges ‘national renewal’ after Labour party win

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Prime Minister-elect Keir Starmer pledged Friday to start a period of “national renewal” in the UK after his opposition Labour party defeated the ruling Conservatives in the general election.

“Today we start the next chapter -- begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country,” Starmer said in a triumphant victory speech in London after his party secured a majority in parliament.

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At a triumphant party rally in central London, Starmer, 61, told cheering activists that “change begins here” and promised a “decade of national renewal”, putting “country first, party second.”

But he cautioned that change would not come overnight, even as Labour snatched a swathe of Tory seats around the country, including from at least eight Cabinet members.

“The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory,” a somber-looking Rishi Sunak said after he was re-elected to his seat.

“Today, power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner with goodwill on all sides,” the Tory leader added, calling the results “sobering” and saying he took responsibility for the defeat.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps was the highest-profile scalp of the night so far, with other big names, including senior minister Penny Mordaunt and leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg also defeated.

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt hung on to remain an MP, but only by 891 votes.

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