General Election 2024 LIVE: Sir Keir Starmer admits 'we'll have to take tough decisions early' in first press conference as PM

General Election 2024 LIVE: Sir Keir Starmer admits 'we'll have to take tough decisions early' in first press conference as PM

Sir Keir Starmer has admitted his Labour government is “going to have to make tough decisions early” in his first press conference as Prime Minister.

The PM got down to business after Labour’s landslide victory in the General Election, holding his first Cabinet meeting in a soggy Downing Street on Saturday morning.

Mr Starmer signalled that more powers could be devolved to London Mayor Sadiq Khan to get the capital fully thriving.

At his first press conference in Downing Street, he stressed that on Tuesday he would hold a meeting with the mayors of cities across Britain to discuss how those who have “skin in the game” can take more decisions and hold more responsibilities.

The gathering in Number 10 came as Sir Keir looks to start working on his party’s manifesto pledges and prepare for a Nato summit next week.

Meanwhile leading Tory figures are preparing leadership bids after Rishi Sunak announced he would quit and used his final speech in Downing Street to apologise to the British people and the Conservative Party.

After all 650 Commons seats had been declared following Thursday’s bombshell election, Labour were left with a majority of 176 as the Tories suffered the worst result in the party’s history.

The Standard is bringing you all the major developments on Sir Keir’s first full day as PM...

Key Points

Streeting vows to work closely with devolved organisations

16:17 , Will Mata

New Health Secretary Wes Streeting has vowed to work closely with the devolved administrations.

He tweeted: "Following this morning's Cabinet meeting, I held calls with Health Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and (Scottish Labour's health spokesperson Jackie Baillie) @jackiebmsp.

"A Labour government in Westminster will be a rising tide that lifts all ships and we'll work constructively with devolved administrations."

Photos of the day: July 6

16:07 , Will Mata

Sir Keir Starmer takes his press conference as prime minister (Claudia Greco/PA Wire)
Sir Keir Starmer takes his press conference as prime minister (Claudia Greco/PA Wire)
From left, Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens, Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood and Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson are among those serving in Sir Keir Starmer’s Cabinet (Tejas Sandhu/PA) (PA Wire)
From left, Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens, Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood and Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson are among those serving in Sir Keir Starmer’s Cabinet (Tejas Sandhu/PA) (PA Wire)
Deputy PM Angela Rayner steps out of 10 Downing Street (REUTERS)
Deputy PM Angela Rayner steps out of 10 Downing Street (REUTERS)
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage and the new Reform MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, James McMurdock, watch the inaugural match of East Thurrock CFC at Wyldecrest Sports Country Club (PA Wire)
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage and the new Reform MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, James McMurdock, watch the inaugural match of East Thurrock CFC at Wyldecrest Sports Country Club (PA Wire)

Keir Starmer's Cabinet the most diverse ever

15:55 , Will Mata

Sir Keir Starmer's first Cabinet is the most diverse on record in terms of education background, analysis has shown.

The majority of the Prime Minister's top team - 23 Cabinet ministers, or 92 per cent of the total - attended comprehensive schools, according to research by social mobility charity the Sutton Trust.

Sir Keir said he was proud to have Cabinet ministers who "didn't have the easiest of starts in life" and reflect the "aspiration" at the heart of Britain when the diverse educational backgrounds of his top team were referenced during a press conference at Downing Street on Saturday.

He told journalists: "I'm really proud of the fact that my Cabinet reflects the aspiration that I believe lies at the heart of our country.

"That aspiration that so many people have, wherever they started from, to make a journey in life for themselves, for their families, their communities, and ultimately for their country."

Faces around the table at Keir Starmer’s new Cabinet (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Faces around the table at Keir Starmer’s new Cabinet (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Starmer says 'mission delivery boards' could drive economic growth

15:33 , Will Mata

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to personally chair new "mission delivery boards" to "put into action" Labour's manifesto commitments.

The cross-departmental panels are expected to be set up to make progress on the party's five key pledges - to drive economic growth, reform the NHS, invest in clean energy, reform the crime and justice system, and improve opportunity through a new skills agenda.

The Prime Minister said he would head the boards himself to emphasise his focus on pursuing the plans central to Labour's first term in government.

Devolution promise with Starmer considering metro mayors

15:30 , Will Mata

Sir Keir Starmer signalled more power could be given to metro mayors as he announced he would meet with regional leaders of all political stripes during his first week in Number 10.

The Prime Minister said his "door is open" to those who know what is best for their communities as he suggested the Labour Government would be "bold" about pushing resources out of Whitehall.

In his first Downing Street press conference after winning a landslide victory at the General Election, Sir Keir announced he would meet local politicians from cities across the country on Tuesday.

"The principle I operate to is those with skin in the game know what's best for their communities," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer holding his first press conference from Downing Street (Claudia Greco/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer holding his first press conference from Downing Street (Claudia Greco/PA) (PA Wire)

Farage: 'Labour could be in trouble pretty quickly'

15:16 , Will Mata

Nigel Farage said Sir Keir Starmer's new Government "could be in trouble pretty quickly" as he watched a football club's first match in Essex with Reform UK's fifth MP James McMurdock.

Mr Farage, who has entered Parliament for the first time for his Reform party, said that the Labour frontbench was “inexperienced”.

"With a couple of exceptions, they are I think the most inexperienced people ever to have got into a British cabinet,” he said.

"If you actually look at their life stories, their backgrounds and bear in mind, these are people making executive decisions that fundamentally affect people's lives, I think they're going to find it very, very hard.

“And I say that because the country faces some really fundamental problems, I suspect this Government could be in trouble pretty quickly."

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage and the new Reform MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, James McMurdock (PA Wire)
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage and the new Reform MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, James McMurdock (PA Wire)

Keir Starmer: More powers could be devolved to Mayor Sadiq Khan to boost London

15:10 , Will Mata

Sir Keir Starmer signalled that more powers could be devolved to London Mayor Sadiq Khan to get the capital fully thriving.

At his first press conference in Downing Street, he stressed that on Tuesday he would hold a meeting with the mayors of cities across Britain to discuss how those who have “skin in the game” can take more decisions and hold more responsibilities.

His “door was open” to Mr Khan and other regional leaders, he added, to work with the new Labour government to boost their areas.

Read Nic Cecil’s full story here.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Starmer says it's 'impossible' to stop early release of prisoners

14:52 , Will Mata

It is "impossible" to say the Government will stop the early release of prisoners, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Prime Minister's comments at a press conference at Downing Street on Saturday come after prison governors last week warned that jails could run out of space within days, putting the public in danger.

The Prison Governors' Association (PGA), which represents more than 95% of all prison governors and managers working in England and Wales, said the entire criminal justice system "stands on the precipice of failure" as it called on the next government to tackle problems "without delay".

Sir Keir said: "We've got too many prisoners, not enough prisons.

"That's a monumental failure of the last government on any basic view of government to get to a situation where you haven't got enough prison places for prisoners, doesn't matter what your political stripe, that is a failure of government.

"It's a failure of government to instruct the police not to arrest. This has not had enough attention, in my view, but it's what happened.

"We will fix that, but we can't fix it overnight and therefore it is impossible to simply say we will stop the early release of prisoners and you wouldn't believe me if I did say it."

Sir Keir Starmer said it is ‘impossible’ to say the Government will stop the early release of prisoners (Michael Cooper/PA) (PA Wire)
Sir Keir Starmer said it is ‘impossible’ to say the Government will stop the early release of prisoners (Michael Cooper/PA) (PA Wire)

Big Brother is watching you: Tory jokes about joining house

14:46 , Will Mata

A Conservative politician who lost his seat in the General Election has jokingly asked whether Big Brother is still "looking for people".

Brendan Clarke-Smith was unseated as the MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire by Labour candidate Jo White after she received nearly 6,000 more votes on Thursday.

Following the defeat, Mr Clarke-Smith jokingly threw his hat into the ring for the next series of the ITV reality show.

He responded to a post on X, formerly Twitter, from The Sun's political editor which claimed that Big Brother was looking for a "big political name" to take part in this year's series.

Mr Clarke-Smith replied: "Don't suppose they are still looking for people?"

He jokingly added that the hyphen in his surname makes it a "big name".

Who is Wes Streeting?

14:43 , Will Mata

Meet your new health secretary.

Here is a profile we put together about his career to date: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/wes-streeting-labour-shadow-health-secretary-general-election-2024-b1163537.html

Wes Streeting was appointed Health and Social Care Secretary (PA) (PA Wire)
Wes Streeting was appointed Health and Social Care Secretary (PA) (PA Wire)

Starmer calls Rwanda scheme a 'gimmick'

13:51 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer labelled the previous government’s Rwanda scheme a “gimmick” which was “dead and buried before it started”.

Speaking to the media in Downing Street, the Prime Minster said: “The Rwanda scheme was dead and buried before it started. It’s never been a deterrent.

“Look at the numbers that have come over in the first six and a bit months of this year, they are record numbers, that is the problem that we are inheriting.

“It has never acted as a deterrent, almost the opposite, because everybody has worked out, particularly the gangs that run this, that the chance of ever going to Rwanda was so slim, less than 1%, that it was never a deterrent.

“The chances were of not going and not being processed and staying here, therefore, in paid for accommodation for a very, very long time.

“It’s had the complete opposite effect and I’m not prepared to continue with gimmicks that don’t act as a deterrent.”

Keir Starmer: More powers could be devolved to Mayor Sadiq Khan to boost London

13:51 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer signalled that more powers could be devolved to London Mayor Sadiq Khan to get the capital fully thriving.

At his first press conference in Downing Street, he stressed that on Tuesday he would hold a meeting with the mayors of cities across Britain to discuss how those who have “skin in the game” can take more decisions and hold more responsibilities.

He stressed his “door was open” to Mr Khan and other regional leaders to work with the new Labour government to boost their areas.

You can read more here.

Starmer vows to 'turn our back on tribal politics'

13:31 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer vowed to “turn our back on tribal politics” because “that’s what’s gone wrong” in the last few years.

The Prime Minister said he wanted to “govern for the whole of the country and take the country forward, and turn our back on tribal politics and simply picking issues we want to fight just for the party politics of it.

“That’s what’s gone wrong, in my view, in the last few years.”

We're going to have to make tough decisions early, says Starmer

13:31 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer said “we’re going to have to take the tough decisions, and take them early” when asked if he would be willing to raise tax to fund public services.

The Prime Minister said he would approach the challenges with a “raw honesty” but insisted that was “not a sort of prelude to saying there’s some tax decision that we didn’t speak about before”.

He told journalists: “In relation to the tough decisions, we’re going to have to take them and take them early. And we will do that with a raw honesty.”

He added: “But that is not a sort of prelude to saying there’s some tax decision that we didn’t speak about before that we’re going to announce now.

“It’s about the tough decisions to fix the problem and being honest about what they are.

Starmer says his principle is 'country first, party second'

13:24 , Sami Quadri

During the press conference, Sky News asked Sir Keir Starmer to name one concrete promise he could deliver in his first 100 days as Prime Minister.

Starmer responded by emphasising that the government's mindset has already shifted. He said that "the principle is country first, party second - that change has already happened," referring to how his cabinet will approach their duties.

Regarding the election results, Starmer added: "it is a clear mandate, we argued for change and we got that mandate."

The Prime Minister also shared his reaction to the exit poll, saying: "I didn't believe it...and like everyone else, I stayed up to watch every single result come in."

There will be no surprise tax increases, says Starmer

13:18

ITV's Robert Peston questioned Sir Keir Starmer about his readiness to make difficult decisions, including potential tax increases, if the state of affairs is worse than anticipated.

The Prime Minister replied: "We are going to have to take the tough decisions, take them early and we will. We will do that with a raw honesty."

Starmer then addressed the NHS situation, acknowledging it as "broken" and stating that Labour would be forthright about the problems in order to address them effectively.

He added: "That is not a prelude to saying there is some tax decision we didn't speak about." This statement appears to reassure that Labour does not have hidden plans for tax changes beyond what was discussed during the campaign.

Starmer says he's 'restless for change'

13:11

At his first press conference as Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer faced a question from the BBC about the timeline for implementing tangible changes.

He replied: "I am restless for change and I think and hope that what you've already seen demonstrates that."

 (Claudia Greco/PA Wire)
(Claudia Greco/PA Wire)

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer giving first news conference in office

13:06 , Sami Quadri

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has said that he has given his cabinet clear directives regarding his expectations.

He also revealed that he has already engaged in discussions with the government's standards adviser. The purpose of this conversation was to explore ways to effectively implement Labour's agenda now that they are in power.

He said that while his cabinet is nowcomplete, he will continue to appoint junior ministers over the next few days.

Starmer emphasised that Labour's electionvictory has given him a mandate across Great Britain, with majorities inEngland, Wales, and Scotland.

The Prime Minister also revealed his plans tovisit all four UK nations in the coming days. He will begin with a trip toScotland tomorrow, followed by visits to Northern Ireland and Wales, beforeconcluding the tour in England.

Starmer shares picture of Cabinet meeting on X

12:56 , Michael Howie

Sir Keir Starmer said his Government is "ready to serve the people of Britain".

In a post on X, the Prime Minister wrote: "Country first, party second.

"I held my first Cabinet meeting this morning. My government is ready to serve the people of Britain."

The official UK Prime Minister X account posted: "Prime Minister @Keir-Starmer chaired his first Cabinet this morning.

"He outlined the government's mission to restore Britain to the service of working people."

Removal men spotted at 11 Downing Street

12:48 , Michael Howie

Two removal men have been spotted carrying what appeared to be large furniture outside of No 11 Downing Street.

The building was formerly home to Jeremy Hunt, who left with his family on Friday.

Downing Street staff could also be seen hanging England flag bunting on the railings outside No 10, ahead of the Euro 2024 match against Switzerland later on Saturday.

Business Secretary says Cabinet meeting was 'superb'

12:32 , Michael Howie

Health Secretary Wes Streeting told reporters the first Cabinet meeting was "very good", adding: "We're getting to work straight away."

Mr Streeting was joined by Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, who described the meeting as "superb" as they departed No 10.

Johnson says Reform played 'significant' role in Tories' election defeat

11:57

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Nigel Farage and Reform UK played a “significant” role in the Conservative Party's electoral defeat.

In his Daily Mail column, Johnson analysed the Tories' poor performance, describing the reasons as "complex" but singling out Reform UK as the "Yucatan asteroid in this catastrophe."

The Conservatives suffered a substantial loss in the recent election, with many prominent figures losing their seats as Labour secured a landslide victory.

Meanwhile, Reform UK, led by Mr Farage, has gained five seats in the Commons.

Mr Farage himself was elected in Clacton, Essex, on his eighth attempt to become an MP.

Keir Starmer's cabinet pictured together for first time

11:34 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer told the first gathering of his new Cabinet in Downing Street: “Look colleagues, it is absolutely fantastic to welcome you to the Cabinet, our first meeting.

“And it was the honour and privilege of my life to be invited by the King, His Majesty the King yesterday to form a government and to form the Labour Government of 2024.

“And now we hold our first Cabinet meeting. So I welcome you to it.

“We have a huge amount of work to do, so now we get on with our work.”

His words were met with loud applause.

Sir Keir was flanked at the Cabinet table by his deputy and Housing Secretary Angela Rayner and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.

 (Handout)
(Handout)

Liberal Democrats win record 72 seats after final vote declared

11:17

The Liberal Democrats have secured a victory in the constituency of Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire, the final seat to be declared in the general election. Angus MacDonald of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has been elected as the new MP, defeating the incumbent SNP candidate.

The result came after two recounts were conducted in the closely contested seat.

This win puts the party on a record 72 seats in the new parliament.

Jeremy Hunt 'rules himself out of Tory leadership race'

10:54 , Sami Quadri

Former Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has ruled himself out of the Conservative Party leadership contest, according to Sky News.

It comes as discussions begin about who will lead the Conservatives in opposition following their election defeat after 14 years in government.

Several prominent figures are being touted aspotential candidates for the leadership role, including Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and James Cleverly.

Former Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (James Manning/PA Wire)
Former Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (James Manning/PA Wire)

Pictured: Chancellor Rachel Reeves arrives at Downing Street ahead of first cabinet meeting

10:44

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Jeremy Corbyn to urge Labour to halt arms sales to Israel at pro-Palestine march in London

10:42 , Sami Quadri

Jeremy Corbyn is attending a pro-Palestine demonstration in central London on Saturday in his first act as newly re-elected Independent MP for Islington North.

Mr Corbyn will call on the new Labour government to immediately end arms to Israel and recognise Palestine as a state.

Speaking ahead of the lunchtime march, Mr Corbyn said: “Palestine was on the ballot in this election - and I promise to stay true to my word to stand up for the Palestinian people.

“We said it to the Tories, and now we will say it to Labour: a government that sells arms to Israel is a government that is complicit in crimes against humanity. A change in government doesn’t change the facts that the people of Gaza are still being murdered in their sleep. And it doesn’t change the fact that there is only one path to a just and lasting peace: an end to the occupation of Palestine.”

You can read more here.

Health Secretary Wes Streeting arrives at Downing Street

10:30 , Sami Quadri

A flurry of Cabinet ministers began to file into Downing Street for the meeting.

Health Secretary Wes Streeting told reporters “We’re getting straight to work” as he walked in, closely followed by Transport Secretary Louise Haigh.

Asked by reporters when railways would be nationalised, Ms Haigh said: “As soon as possible.”

Next to appear was Science Secretary Peter Kyle and Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson, with the latter stressing the new Government had “a lot to get on with”.

Attorney General Richard Hermer followed into No 10 shortly afterwards.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Braverman says there are 'no announcements' on Tory leadership race

10:11 , Sami Quadri

Suella Braverman said there were “no announcements” on the Tory leadership race.

The former home secretary is expected to throw her hat into the ring in the contest to replace Rishi Sunak, who said he would quit as leader once formal arrangements were in place to select his successor.

Asked whether she would be the next Tory leader, Ms Braverman told broadcasters outside her home on Saturday: “No announcements. We’ve just got to take our time, we’ve got to figure out what the situation is.”

She continued: “It’s been a really bad result. There’s no two ways about it. Hundreds of excellent Tory MPs have been kicked out of office.”

She went on to criticise Sir Keir Starmer for planning to axe the Rwanda deportation scheme, saying: “Years of hard work, acts of Parliament, millions of pounds been spent on a scheme which had it been delivered properly would have worked.

“But there are big problems on the horizon which will be I’m afraid caused by Keir Starmer.”

Former home secretary Suella Braverman (PA Archive)
Former home secretary Suella Braverman (PA Archive)

Pictured: Environment Secretary Steve Reed arrives at Downing Street ahead of Cabinet meeting

10:02

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Jeremy Clarkson says Starmer will 'steal all our money and spend it stupidly'

09:43 , Sami Quadri

Jeremy Clarkson has criticised the newly elected Labour government in his latest column for The Sun newspaper.

The former Top Gear host directed his remarks at Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, writing: "Yes, he will ruin this little rock in the North Atlantic and he will steal all our money and spend it stupidly. And he'll do nothing to try to stop the boats and he will allow such rampant wokery in the workplace that every employer will up sticks and move to somewhere more sensible. Like North Korea. Or Rockall."

Clarkson downplayed the long-term impact of Labour's tenure, adding: "But hey. It's not like he's going to be around for long. Five years? Maybe less. Which in geological time isn't even measurable. Then we can put everything back together again and pretend he never happened."

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson

Greens will pressure Labour on environmental issues

09:38

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay has said that his party will pressure Labour on environmental policies and public service restoration.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Ramsay said: "I think Labour has said good things about a number of these issues. It's whether the policies they're proposing are going to take us far enough to address them."

The Greens secured four seats nationwide in their best-ever election performance. Ramsay noted that the party has seen increased support "in all parts of the country."

He added: "There's a wide range of people voting Green who want a better future, who want a more constructive form of politics."

Lib Dems admit the party benefited from voters wanting to 'turf out Tories'

08:58

Education spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, Munira Wilson, acknowledged the party benefited from voters wanting to turf out a Conservative government.

The Twickenham MP told Sky News: “We were very clear that after the previous Conservative government, which was frankly full of chaos and incompetence and had broken the trust of the British people and broken our economy, time was up for them and in many of those seats where we won we made it very clear to voters that if they wanted to turf out the Tories they had to vote Liberal Democrat and they did.

“So obviously in every election it’s a combination of the two, but I am also confident that our messages around cost-of-living, sewage, health and care did really resonate with voters.”

She told Sky News the Lib Dems surpassed everyone’s expectations, “including my own”, and that the party hopes to bring its record number of MPs up from 71 to 72 after the recount in the final seat to declare – Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire.

Cabinet ministers arrive at Downing Street for first meeting

08:43 , Sami Quadri

Cabinet ministers have begun arriving at Downing Street for their first meeting under Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer's leadership.

Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner, Chancellor Rachel Reeves, and Chief Whip Sir Alan Campbell were among the first to enter Number 10.

As she arrived, Chancellor Reeves acknowledged the assembled press with a smile and a nod before entering the famous black door.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Cambridge graduate Sam Carling becomes youngest sitting MP at age 22

08:16 , Sami Quadri

Sam Carling, aged 22, has become the youngest MP elected in this general election.

Carling secured a narrow victory in North West Cambridgeshire, defeating the Conservative incumbent by a mere 39 votes. His election marks a historic moment as he becomes the first MP born in the 21st century to enter Parliament.

PM to hold news conference after cabinet meeting

07:50

The Prime Minister will host his first news conference since taking office following his cabinet meeting later this morning.

This marks Starmer's debut facing the press as the country's leader, rather than as opposition chief.

The event is expected to take place in Downing Street's new indoor briefing room, with Starmer likely to face a range of questions from journalists about his plans for government.

Boris warns Tories not to merge with Reform

07:37

Boris Johnson has cautioned the Conservative Party against a merger with Reform UK in the wake of their devastating electoral defeat.

The former prime minister addressed "Tory survivors" who now find themselves in Opposition, urging them to resist the temptation to "absorb other parties" as they seek to rebuild.

Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Mail: “I say to my fellow Conservatives, we are the oldest, most successful political party in British history.

“We are capable of endless regeneration. We don’t need to try to absorb other parties, to try to acquire their vitality like a transfusion of monkey glands.”

He added: “We need to occupy the space ourselves – and my humble suggestion to the 121 is that they need to rebuild that giant coalition of 2019, get back to some of the big themes that proved so successful that we won seats across the country.”

Government announces Hurricane Beryl support package for Caribbean

07:27 , Sami Quadri

The UK has announced a new support package for Caribbean countries affected by the destruction of Hurricane Beryl.

Foreign Secretary David Lammy has increased support up to £500,000 to meet the needs of those whose homes and livelihoods have been impacted.

Hurricane Beryl was the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record to form in the Atlantic.

The aid package includes 800 emergency shelter kits capable of supporting up to 4,000 people. These have been dispatched to Granada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Foreign Office also confirmed that 1,620 buckets for households to collect and store water have been sent from supplies pre-positioned in the region as part of the UK’s preparedness plans.

A person stands amidst damaged property following the passing of Hurricane Beryl in Saint Vincent (via REUTERS)
A person stands amidst damaged property following the passing of Hurricane Beryl in Saint Vincent (via REUTERS)

Starmer 'scraps controversial Rwanda policy'

07:23 , Sami Quadri

Sir Keir Starmer has ended the Rwanda deportation plan on his first day as Prime Minister.

Labour sources told The Telegraph the scheme to deport migrants arriving in the UK illegally to Rwanda is now "dead", in line with the party's election pledge.

Illegal migration is expected to be a key focus for the new Government, particularly with the anticipation of increased small boat Channel crossings over the summer.

The NHS is broken, says Streeting

07:16 , Sami Quadri

Newly appointed Health Secretary Wes Streeting has declared the NHS "broken" in his first day on the job.

Mr Streeting also announced plans to begintalks with unions next week, aiming to end the ongoing junior doctors' strikes.

He said: “This Government will be honest about the challenges facing our country, and serious about tackling them. From today, the policy of this department is that the NHS is broken.

“That is the experience of patients who are not receiving the care they deserve, and of the staff working in the NHS who can see that –despite giving their best – this is not good enough.”

Wes Streeting has been appointed Health and Social Care Secretary (PA Wire)
Wes Streeting has been appointed Health and Social Care Secretary (PA Wire)

Starmer to hold first Cabinet meeting as Nato summit approaches

07:12 , Sami Quadri

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is set to convene the inaugural meeting of his new Cabinet today, as Labour begins the task of implementing its manifesto pledges and preparing for next week's Nato summit.

In a flurry of activity on his first day in Downing Street, Sir Keir made a series of key appointments and engaged in discussions with international leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

The Prime Minister has assembled a diverse team to lead the country. Rachel Reeves makes history as Britain's first female Chancellor of the Exchequer, while Yvette Cooper takes the helm at the Home Office. David Lammy steps into the role of Foreign Secretary, and Angela Rayner assumes the dual roles of Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Other notable appointments include John Healey as Defence Secretary, Shabana Mahmood as Justice Secretary, and Wes Streeting heading up Health. Bridget Phillipson will be leading Education, while Ed Miliband makes a return to the cabinet as Energy Secretary.