Friday, July 19, 2024

Sunak ‘sorry’ for electoral disaster; quits as Conservative Party leader

After speaking in Downing Street, Mr Sunak will travel by car to Buckingham Palace to resign as prime minister.

• July 5, 2024
Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

Outgoing British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has apologised after leading the Conservatives to their worst-ever election result as a Labour landslide swept Keir Starmer into power.

“To the country, I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry,” Mr Sunak said in a statement outside his former office. “I have heard your anger and your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

Mr Sunak said he would quit as Conservative leader once arrangements are in place to choose his successor, potentially triggering another round of Conservative infighting as members of parliament (MPs) scramble to replace him.

Mr Sunak said, “Following this result, I will step down as party leader—not immediately, but once the formal arrangements for selecting my successor are in place.

“It is important that, after 14 years in government, the Conservative Party rebuilds, but also that it takes up its crucial role in opposition professionally and effectively.”

Mr Sunak disclosed that he would later visit King Charles III to offer his resignation as the British prime minister.

“I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters.”

“This is a difficult day at the end of a number of difficult days. But I leave this job honoured to have been your prime minister.

“This is the best country in the world. And it is thanks entirely to you, the British people, the true source of all our achievements, our strengths and our greatness,” said Mr Sunak.

Mr Starmer will become prime minister after a Conservative rout that saw former premier Liz Truss and a dozen serving cabinet members lose their seats.

After 648 of the 650 Commons seats had been declared, Labour had a majority of 176. Labour had 412 seats and the Conservatives 121.

After speaking in Downing Street, Mr Sunak will travel by car to Buckingham Palace to resign as prime minister.

After he leaves, Mr Starmer will go see King Charles III to accept the responsibility of forming a government.


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