Keir Starmer to hold first Labour cabinet meeting as Tory leadership jostling begins – live

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Here is a look at the political schedule for Saturday, courtesy of the PA news agency:

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  • Prime minister, Keir Starmer, is expected to hold the first meeting of his new cabinet as starts working on Labour’s manifesto pledges and preparing for a Nato summit next week. The new cabinet is expected to meet at 11am.

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  • At 10.30am, a recount in the final seat to declare – Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire – will start.

  • \n

  • Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will go on a walkabout with new MP Blair McDougall in East Renfrewshire this morning.

  • \n

  • Nigel Farage is scheduled to visit Essex with James McMurdock, the new MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

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The votes have been counted, the dust has largely settled, and the Conservatives are left with 121 MPs. From this rump – about a third of the pre-election total – who will compete to take over as party leader from the soon to depart Rishi Sunak?

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The likely main contenders, broadly listed from centre to right, are: Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat, Victoria Atkins, James Cleverly, Robert Jenrick, Priti Patel, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Nigel Farage*.

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* Farage is, very obviously, not a Conservative member and now leads his four Reform UK MPs in the Commons. Could the remaining Tories welcome him as a leader? Would Farage want the job? The answer to both is most probably no. But stranger things have happened.

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Peter Walker runs you through the main contendersfor the Tory leadership and weighs up their chances and what a run for the job might look like:

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Keir Starmer is expected to hold the first meeting of his cabinet as the UK’s new prime minister starts working on Labour’s manifesto pledges and preparing for a Nato summit next week.

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Starmer made a range of appointments on his first day at 10 Downing Street on Friday and spoke with international leaders including the US president, Joe Biden, in a call the White House said included the two leaders reaffirming the UK-US “special relationship”.

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Starmer confirmed Rachel Reeves as Britain’s first woman chancellor, Yvette Cooper as home secretary and David Lammy as foreign secretary, while Angela Rayner officially became his deputy prime minister and retained the levelling up, housing and communities brief.

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After 649 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons had been declared in Thursday’s general election, Labour had a majority of 176. Labour had 412 seats and the Tories 121 – the worst result in the Conservative party’s history. The Liberal Democrats were on a record 71, the Scottish National party (SNP) on nine, Reform UK on five and the Greens on four.

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Starmer entered Downing Street on Friday with a promise to use his historic election victory to rebuild Britain “brick by brick” and provide security for millions of working-class families.

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“My government will fight, every day, until you believe again,” Starmer said in a speech outside No 10 which had echoes of Tony Blair’s vow to act as the servants of the people in 1997.

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In other developments:

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  • The election turnout figure stood at 59.8% at last count, a sharp decline from an overall turnout of 67.3% at the last election in 2019. A recount in the seat of Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire seat was not to restart until 10.30am on Saturday, delaying the general election’s final result. The Liberal Democrats are poised to win the seat.

  • \n

  • Starmer’s other ministerial appointments included John Healey as defence secretary; Shabana Mahmood as justice secretary; Wes Streeting as health secretary; Bridget Phillipson as education secretary and Ed Miliband as energy secretary.

  • \n

  • Among the most high-profile Tory cabinet ministers unseated by opposition candidates were Gillian Keegan, the education secretary, Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader. Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, and Michelle Donelan, the science secretary, were also ousted. Former prime minister Liz Truss lost her seat in South West Norfolk. The Conservatives lost every seat they had held in Wales.

  • \n

  • After the Tories’ disastrous results, former Conservative party chairman Eric Pickles warned that the party could face “oblivion” at the next general election. He said there were now no “safe seats”.

  • \n

  • Rishi Sunak, the former prime minister, used his final speech in Downing Street to apologise to the British people and the Conservative party. Sunak confirmed he was standing down as Conservative leader but would stay in place while his replacement was elected. The Guardian has been told that prospective Conservative party leadership candidates are preparing for a speedy contest to appoint a successor to Sunak by the autumn in an effort to challenge the rise of Reform. Nigel Farage, the Reform UK party’s leader, said his priority was to now target Labour votes.

  • \n

  • Scottish first minister and SNP party leader John Swinney described the party’s election results – the SNP’s worst since 2010 – as “very damaging” and tough.

  • \n

  • Sinn Féin has become Northern Ireland’s largest party in Westminster after voters turned against the Democratic Unionist party (DUP). The DUP lost three of its eight Westminster seats in the election, including the North Antrim stronghold held by Ian Paisley and before that his late father since 1970.

  • \n

  • Ireland’s premier, Simon Harris, said the Labour government’s election in the UK could herald a “great reset” in Anglo-Irish relations.
    PA Media contributed to this report

  • \n

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Key events

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A recount in the last remaining undeclared seat in the 2024 general election will begin on Saturday morning, amid reports the SNP candidate has already conceded defeat.

Despite an initial count on Thursday night and a recount on Friday, the result of the contest in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire remains undecided.

The PA news agency reports that a further recount is due to commence at 10.30am, with the SNP’s Drew Hendry locked in a close battle with Liberal Democrat candidate Angus MacDonald.

The BBC reported on Friday evening that Hendry had conceded defeat ahead of the count, and that the seat is expected to become the Liberal Democrats’ sixth in Scotland.

This would come as a further blow to the SNP in what has been a bruising election for the nationalists, having lost 39 of the 48 seats they won in 2019, mainly to a resurgent Labour.

If you haven’t come across Rowena Mason’s latest piece, I’d reccommend a read of it. The Guardian’s Whitehall editor takes you behind the scenes of the Tories’ chaotic election campaign, all the way from the surprise decision to call a snap election to the divisions inside the doomed campaign machine.

What’s coming up today

Here is a look at the political schedule for Saturday, courtesy of the PA news agency:

  • Prime minister, Keir Starmer, is expected to hold the first meeting of his new cabinet as starts working on Labour’s manifesto pledges and preparing for a Nato summit next week. The new cabinet is expected to meet at 11am.

  • At 10.30am, a recount in the final seat to declare – Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire – will start.

  • Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will go on a walkabout with new MP Blair McDougall in East Renfrewshire this morning.

  • Nigel Farage is scheduled to visit Essex with James McMurdock, the new MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock.

Who could replace Sunak as Tory leader?

Peter Walker

Peter Walker

The votes have been counted, the dust has largely settled, and the Conservatives are left with 121 MPs. From this rump – about a third of the pre-election total – who will compete to take over as party leader from the soon to depart Rishi Sunak?

The likely main contenders, broadly listed from centre to right, are: Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat, Victoria Atkins, James Cleverly, Robert Jenrick, Priti Patel, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and Nigel Farage*.

* Farage is, very obviously, not a Conservative member and now leads his four Reform UK MPs in the Commons. Could the remaining Tories welcome him as a leader? Would Farage want the job? The answer to both is most probably no. But stranger things have happened.

Peter Walker runs you through the main contendersfor the Tory leadership and weighs up their chances and what a run for the job might look like:

Share

Updated at 07.46 BST

Following a landslide election victory, Keir Starmer’s Labour government faces a range of urgent priorities both home and abroad, from a prison’s overcrowding crisis and huge NHS waiting lists to the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

Starmer’s team is one of the most experienced in recent times, with many MPs who served Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

My colleague David Batty has listed the members of the new cabinet and the main tasks that await them in this handy explainer:

Starmer to hold first cabinet meeting

Keir Starmer is expected to hold the first meeting of his cabinet as the UK’s new prime minister starts working on Labour’s manifesto pledges and preparing for a Nato summit next week.

Starmer made a range of appointments on his first day at 10 Downing Street on Friday and spoke with international leaders including the US president, Joe Biden, in a call the White House said included the two leaders reaffirming the UK-US “special relationship”.

Starmer confirmed Rachel Reeves as Britain’s first woman chancellor, Yvette Cooper as home secretary and David Lammy as foreign secretary, while Angela Rayner officially became his deputy prime minister and retained the levelling up, housing and communities brief.

After 649 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons had been declared in Thursday’s general election, Labour had a majority of 176. Labour had 412 seats and the Tories 121 – the worst result in the Conservative party’s history. The Liberal Democrats were on a record 71, the Scottish National party (SNP) on nine, Reform UK on five and the Greens on four.

Starmer entered Downing Street on Friday with a promise to use his historic election victory to rebuild Britain “brick by brick” and provide security for millions of working-class families.

“My government will fight, every day, until you believe again,” Starmer said in a speech outside No 10 which had echoes of Tony Blair’s vow to act as the servants of the people in 1997.

In other developments:

  • The election turnout figure stood at 59.8% at last count, a sharp decline from an overall turnout of 67.3% at the last election in 2019. A recount in the seat of Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire seat was not to restart until 10.30am on Saturday, delaying the general election’s final result. The Liberal Democrats are poised to win the seat.

  • Starmer’s other ministerial appointments included John Healey as defence secretary; Shabana Mahmood as justice secretary; Wes Streeting as health secretary; Bridget Phillipson as education secretary and Ed Miliband as energy secretary.

  • Among the most high-profile Tory cabinet ministers unseated by opposition candidates were Gillian Keegan, the education secretary, Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader. Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, and Michelle Donelan, the science secretary, were also ousted. Former prime minister Liz Truss lost her seat in South West Norfolk. The Conservatives lost every seat they had held in Wales.

  • After the Tories’ disastrous results, former Conservative party chairman Eric Pickles warned that the party could face “oblivion” at the next general election. He said there were now no “safe seats”.

  • Rishi Sunak, the former prime minister, used his final speech in Downing Street to apologise to the British people and the Conservative party. Sunak confirmed he was standing down as Conservative leader but would stay in place while his replacement was elected. The Guardian has been told that prospective Conservative party leadership candidates are preparing for a speedy contest to appoint a successor to Sunak by the autumn in an effort to challenge the rise of Reform. Nigel Farage, the Reform UK party’s leader, said his priority was to now target Labour votes.

  • Scottish first minister and SNP party leader John Swinney described the party’s election results – the SNP’s worst since 2010 – as “very damaging” and tough.

  • Sinn Féin has become Northern Ireland’s largest party in Westminster after voters turned against the Democratic Unionist party (DUP). The DUP lost three of its eight Westminster seats in the election, including the North Antrim stronghold held by Ian Paisley and before that his late father since 1970.

  • Ireland’s premier, Simon Harris, said the Labour government’s election in the UK could herald a “great reset” in Anglo-Irish relations.
    PA Media contributed to this report

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Updated at 07.55 BST

The Guardian

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