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HomeNewsInternational NewsKeir Starmer promises ‘stability and moderation’ in first speech as PM

Keir Starmer promises ‘stability and moderation’ in first speech as PM

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(The Guardian) Keir Starmer pitched himself as a leader for “stability and moderation” who will rebuild Britain, as he reached out to those who did not vote for Labour with a promise to serve the whole country.

The Labour leader gave a speech on the steps of Downing Street after going to Buckingham Palace to accept the king’s invitation to form a new government.

He said the election had brought the four nations of the UK together “facing down the challenges of an insecure world” in a reference to Labour’s sweeping wins in Wales and Scotland, as well as two seats for its sister party in Northern Ireland.

“Our country has voted decisively for change, national renewal and a return to the politics of public service,” Starmer said.

The new prime minister also paid tribute to the “dedication and hard work” of his predecessor, Rishi Sunak, saying his achievement in becoming the first British Asian leader of the UK had required “an extra effort that … should not be underestimated by anyone”.

Turning to Labour’s task ahead, Starmer struck a note of optimism as he said his party could turn around the lack of trust in politics and the draining away of hope that has happened under previous governments.

“This wound, this lack of trust can only be healed with actions, not words,” he said. “I know that, but we can make a start today with the simple acknowledgment that public service is a privilege and your government should treat every single person with respect.

“Whether you voted Labour or not, especially if you did not, I say to you directly, my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that. We changed the Labour party, returned it to service and that is how we will govern.”

The prime minister also said the UK needed a “bigger reset, a rediscovery of who we are” but that he knew that “one of the great strengths of this nation has always been to navigate a way to calmer waters”.

Starmer said he stood for “stability and moderation” and argued that for too long governments had turned a blind eye as millions slid into greater insecurity.

He did not dwell on the policies he would bring to turn public services around but said his priorities were world-class schools and affordable homes.

“This will take a while, but have no doubt that the work of change begins immediately. Have no doubt that we will rebuild Britain with wealth created in every community,” he said.

In apparent reference to the dramas and scandals of the Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Sunak eras, Starmer also promised that Labour would “tread more lightly on your lives” after an “era of noisy performance’”.

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