Keir Starmer news conference: Live updates and stream as PM faces press

Daniel Green
Photo: Simon Dawson/No 10 Downing Street

Keir Starmer has said “country first, party second” will be a test for all decisions in his first news conference as Prime Minister today, “turning our back on tribal politics” following Labour’s historic landslide general election victory.

Follow below and refresh this page for live updates on Starmer’s speech and Q&A with the media; scroll too for a livestream.

The Labour leader said he was “restless for change” and had a mandate for it from all four nations, but promised “raw honesty” about challenges like the NHS being “broken”  – and said tough decisions would come early.

Labour will “repay the trust” of those backing the party for the first time, he added. He signalled the Rwanda scheme is dead too.

It follows the new Labour cabinet’s first meeting this morning in Downing Street, after key appointments were made on Friday (live updates and a full list of senior and junior ministerial posts as they continue here).

Starmer said he’ll visit Scotland and Wales on Tuesday before attending a NATO summit in Washington this week, after speaking to world leaders on the phone including US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

1.50pm: Starmer calls time

That’s it for this press conference – but we expect more ministerial appointments, so follow for live updates on that here.

1.45pm: ‘We will not fix NHS if we are not honest’

On a question about whether he will back the NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard, Starmer said that the situation in the health service is not a reflection on her but on the “failure of leadership of the last government”.

He said: “Our job now is not just to say who broke it – the last government – but to get on and start to fix it.”

He said prisons were “broken” too:

1.34pm: ‘Proud Cabinet reflects aspiration’

When asked about the diversity of his Cabinet, in particular the number of members who went to public school, Starmer said he was “really proud of the fact” that the Cabinet reflects aspiration “at the heart of the country”.

1.30pm: Starmer asked about two child benefit cap

Starmer said again he can’t make a commitment on to the two child benefit cap.

He said: “I said some tough things in the campaign because I meant them. And I wasn’t going to do what others had done, which is to say sweet things on the way in only to do a press conference like this and say we can’t do any of that.”

1.26pm: PM commits to infected blood compensation

Starmer said he is committed to fully compensating those affected by the infected blood scandal.

He also said that the government would increase defence spending to 2.5%, but that the increase has to happen within his “fiscal rules”.

“We will not be tempted, as the last government was, to pretend that money is there now, which isn’t there,” he said.

1.20pm: A changed politics

Re-elected Labour MP Jess Phillips notes the contrast to under the Tories…

1.19pm: Work has started to deliver change

Starmer said that work has already started to deliver change for the country, but that different change will take different times to deliver.

He said that making improvements “won’t be a question of simply saying nothing’s going to change until towards the end of the first term”.

1.15pm: PM promises ‘raw honesty’

When asked about Wes Streeting’s description of the NHS as “broken”, Starmer said that his government would offer “raw honesty” about the challenges the country faces.

“We are going to have to take the tough decisions, take them early and we will,” he said.

However, he ruled out any tax surprises following his election.

1.13pm: ‘Pleased to see exit poll’

Starmer said he was “pleased” to see the exit poll but said he did not believe it until he stayed up to watch election results as they came in.

He also said he will be moving into Number 10 “soon”.

1.09pm: ‘Restless for change’

Starmer is now taking questions from journalists. He was asked by the BBC’s Chris Mason how soon he can start to deliver change.

Starmer said: “I am restless for change and I think and hope that what you’ve already seen demonstrates that.”

He said he would hit the ground running but that change would not take place overnight.

1.08pm: ‘Self-interest is yesterday’s politics’

Starmer stressed how his government would be one focused on delivery and said “self-interest is yesterday’s politics”.

1.04pm: ‘Mandate to do politics differently’

Prime Minister Keir Starmer is speaking at his first press conference since taking office and said that the election landslide is a “mandate to do politics differently”.

He said he discussed “mission delivery” in his first meeting with his Cabinet and will have boards to ensure the government’s vision is being delivered, chaired by Starmer.

He added there will be a number of frontbench positions announced later today.

Starmer will go on a four-nation trip across the United Kingdom tomorrow to meet the First Ministers of the devolved governments.

12.45pm: Watch press conference live

12.30pm: Ministers seen battling the elements as meeting ends

Cabinet ministers are leaving Number 10 following their first meeting. Many of the new members of the Labour government were seen battling the elements amid wet and windy conditions in London.

Keir Starmer is expected to hold a news conference within the next 30 minutes, where he will answer a series of questions from journalists for the first time as Prime Minister.

11.15am: Starmer holds first Cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Keir Starmer has held his first meeting of his new Cabinet as they begin the work work of government. The new Prime Minister has been pictured alongside Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner, Leader of the House of Commons Lucy Powell, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Pat McFadden and Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson.

In the meeting, Starmer said: “It’s fantastic to welcome you to the Cabinet, our first meeting – and it was the honour and privilege of my life to be invited by His Majesty the King yesterday to form a government, and to form the Labour government of 2024. I welcome you – we’ve got a huge amount of work to do so now we get on with our work.”

10.50am: Labour makes more than 200 gains

With all but one of the seats declared, here’s a look at Labour’s gains, holds and losses. The party gained 220 seats from the Conservatives and the SNP, but lost one seat to the Conservatives (Leicester East), one seat to the Green Party (Bristol Central), and five to independents (Blackburn, Birmingham Perry Barr, Dewsbury and Batley, Leicester South and Islington North)

Read more of our 2024 general election results coverage (article continues below):

Election night as it happened: Key results unpacked in historic landslide

Labour results tracker: Full list and map of Labour gains, holds, losses, new MPs

‘We did it’: Keir Starmer’s victory speech as Labour crosses key 326 seat line

‘A landslide masks discontent left, right and centre. Labour has its work cut out’

‘What should we look for in Keir Starmer’s cabinet?’

‘Keir Starmer is at the peak of his power. How should he make the most of it?’

Read more on how the night unfolded:

Liz Truss loses South West Norfolk: Beaten by a lettuce, beaten by Labour

Scotland results: Labour makes big gains as SNP obliterated

Wales results: Labour bags 27 of 32 seats as Tories wiped off the map

Red Wall: Gains in Stoke, Grimsby, Redcar, Workington, Hartlepool, Barrow, Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Bolsover

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Senior Tory loses seat as Labour mayor Dan Norris wins

Gaza: Jon Ashworth loses in Leicester as independents win Blackburn and Batley

Islington North: Jeremy Corbyn holds on in strong result over Labour

Nuneaton, Stevenage, Swindon, Worcester: Labour wins in key bellwether marginals

Read more on what could come next for Labour in power:

100 days: What happens during the first 100 days of a Labour government?

Delivering pledges: ‘Change is hard – how can Labour achieve it?’

Manifesto: ‘12 great policies you may never have heard of’

Foreign affairs: ‘Whatever happens to Biden, Starmer faces a US challenge’

Trilemma: IFS warns Starmer will likely have to pick cuts, debt or tax hikes

Read more on how Labour fought this campaign in key battlegrounds:

Natalie Fleet, campaigning to be Labour MP for Bolsover at the 2024 general election. Photo: Ed Godden Photography
Bolsover candidate Natalie Fleet. Ed Godden Photography

Aldershot: Can Labour win the ‘Home of the Army’ for the first time in a century?

Bolsover: Labour’s Natalie Fleet on death threats, Dennis Skinner and class today

Brighton Pavilion: Can Labour win the Greens’ one seat?

Bristol Central: Inside Labour’s battle to counter the insurgent Green Party

East Thanet: Inside the battle for coastal ex-UKIP stronghold not won since 2005

Edinburgh endgame: The seat where SNP defeat would signal Labour majority

Dover and Deal: Small boats and Tory mutineers: Can veteran Mike Tapp win?

Finchley and Golders Green: Can Labour win back Britain’s most Jewish seat?

Glasgow South West: Meet the NHS doctor fighting one of Scotland’s tightest marginals

Monmouthshire: ‘Why this CLP is setting the standard in this campaign’

Sheffield Hallam: ‘Can Labour’s Olivia Blake hold on in Nick Clegg’s old seat?’

South West: Could Labour take ‘non-battleground’ Tory seats?

Wimbledon‘s battle of the bar charts: Inside a rare election three-horse race

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