Change begins now, says new UK leader

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Change begins now, says new UK leader
Labour leader Keir Starmer is new UK Prime Minister

Sir Kerr Starmer expected at the Buckingham later today to officially take over the reins while Rishi Sunak will now be in parliament

The UK Prime Minister-elect, Sir Keir Starmer, says "change begins now" after Labour swept polls with forecast to win a landslide 410 seats.

The Conservatives are forecast to win only 144 with outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying Britain has delivered a "sobering verdict".

"It feels good, I have to be honest," Starmer told cheering supporters at a Labour Party victory rally in central London, and pledged “national renewal” following 14 years of Conservative rule.

“You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it and now it has arrived. Change begins now,” Starmer told Labour staff.

“It feels good, I have to be honest … This is what it is for. A changed Labour party, ready to serve our country.”

High-profile Conservatives have lost their seats, including Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Penny Mordaunt

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage becomes an MP for the first time, and the party's Richard Tice and Lee Anderson also win

Starmer cautioned that having “a mandate like this comes with a great responsibility.”

Speaking a few moments after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat in the general election, Starmer said, “Our task is nothing less than renewing the ideas that hold this country together. National renewal. If you work hard, if you play by the rules, this country should give you a fair chance to get on… We have to restore that.”

He continued: “We have to return politics to public service, show that politics can be a force for good. Make no mistake, that is the great test for politics in this era. The fight for trust is the battle that defines our age.”

Minutes earlier, outgoing PM and Conservative Party leader Sunak conceded defeat, telling people at the count in his seat: “I am sorry.”

“The Labour Party has won this general election,” Sunak said, adding that he had called Starmer to congratulate him and concede the election.

The milestone marks the end of one era and the start of another; the Conservatives have ruled Britain for 14 years, but Labour has ousted them from power for the first time since 1997.

Five years ago, when the Tories won a thumping majority, this moment would have seemed unthinkable. But Starmer has turned his party around while the Conservatives collapsed, slumping from scandal to scandal and changing their leader twice since that vote.

There are still many more seats to declare, and Labour is on course for a huge majority that will make Starmer a powerful prime minister.

He will travel to Buckingham Palace on Friday to formally take control of the country.

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