Historic moment King Charles welcomes Keir Starmer as Prime Minister - after Labour's landslide victory

5 July 2024, 18:09 | Updated: 5 July 2024, 18:22

Sir Keir met with the King.
Sir Keir met with the King. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou and Jenny Medlicott

King Charles welcomed Keir Starmer as Prime Minister at Buckingham Palace on Friday, following Labour's landslide election victory.

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Sir Keir swept into Buckingham Palace just after noon with his wife Lady Victoria Starmer.

His historic meeting with the King saw him follow Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to become the head of state's third prime minister.

Greeting Sir Keir, the King said: "You must be utterly exhausted. And on your knees."

The newly-appointed PM replied: "Not much sleep."

The pair then sat down before continuing their conversation, with Sir Keir acknowledging how quick the change over had been.

Read more: Starmer unveils new cabinet as he appoints Angela Rayner deputy prime minister and Rachel Reeves as chancellor
Read more:
‘Now we rebuild Britain’: Triumphant Keir Starmer delivers first speech as Prime Minister as he vows to deliver change

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer's first audience with King Charles

"The King received in audience the Right Honourable Sir Keir Starmer MP today and requested him to form a new administration," Buckingham Palace said.

"Sir Keir accepted His Majesty's offer and kissed hands upon his appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury."

Sir Keir's wife joined the two men towards the end of their meeting, which lasted around 20 minutes, before they headed to their new home in Downing Street.

Keir Starmer Is UK's New Prime Minister After Labour's Landslide Election Victory
Keir Starmer Is UK's New Prime Minister After Labour's Landslide Election Victory. Picture: Getty

It came after Rishi Sunak was joined by his wife Akshata Murty for his final audience with the King earlier on Friday.

He resigned as prime minister and recommended the Labour leader be invited to form a new Government.

Buckingham Palace said later: "The Right Honourable Rishi Sunak MP had an audience of the King this morning and tendered his resignation as prime minister and first lord of the Treasury, which His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept."

New PM Sir Keir Starmer promises to rebuild Britain and restore trust in politics

In his first address to the nation, Sir Keir vowed to “rebuild Britain”, adding that work to create change would begin “immediately”.

He said: “We need to move forward together. Now this wound, this lack of trust can only be healed by actions, not words, I know that.

"But we can make a start today with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that your government should treat every single person in this country with respect."

The Prime Minister also said he would “fight every day” to prove his government is one that the country can believe in again.

“So, with respect and humility, I invite you all to join this Government of service in the mission of national renewal.

"Our work is urgent and we begin it today,” he added.

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