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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Stefan Rousseau/PA Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking at the TUC congress in Brighton
uk general election

Labour leader Keir Starmer calls for a general election 'now' after Liz Truss resigns as PM

‘The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern,’ said Keir Starmer.

LAST UPDATE | Oct 20th 2022, 4:00 PM

LABOUR LEADER KEIR Starmer has demanded a general election “now” after Liz Truss announced her resignation as prime minister.

The Labour leader said: “The Conservative Party has shown it no longer has a mandate to govern.

“After 12 years of Tory failure, the British people deserve so much better than this revolving door of chaos. In the last few years, the Tories have set record-high taxation, trashed our institutions and created a cost-of-living crisis.

“The Tories cannot respond to their latest shambles by yet again simply clicking their fingers and shuffling the people at the top without the consent of the British people,” said the Labour leader.

“They do not have a mandate to put the country through yet another experiment; Britain is not their personal fiefdom to run how they wish.

“The British public deserve a proper say on the country’s future. We must have a chance at a fresh start. We need a general election – now.”

Elsewhere, US President Joe Biden vowed to continue close cooperation with Britain following the resignation.

“I thank Prime Minister Liz Truss for her partnership on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.

“We will continue our close cooperation with the UK government as we work together to meet the global challenges our nations face.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a general election was a “democratic imperative” after Liz Truss’s resignation.

“There are no words to describe this utter shambles adequately,” Sturgeon said on Twitter.

“It’s beyond hyperbole – & parody. Reality tho is that ordinary people are paying the price.

“The interests of the Tory party should concern no-one right now.

“A general election is now a democratic imperative.”

Truss’ predecessor Theresa May also weighed in, saying that MPs “must be prepared to compromise” over the coming months.

She posted: “The Prime Minister is right to provide a roadmap for an orderly transition. MPs must now be prepared to compromise.
“It is our duty to provide sensible, competent government at this critical moment for our country.” 

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey has also called for a general election following the Prime Minister’s resignation.

“We don’t need another Conservative Prime Minister lurching from crisis to crisis,” he tweeted.

“We need a General Election now and the Conservatives out of power.”

However, Commons Leader and Tory MP Penny Mordaunt said she would “keep calm and carry on” and encouraged others to do the same.

Asked in the Commons about Liz Truss’s resignation and the state of the Government, Mordaunt said: “I am going to keep calm and carry on – and I would suggest everyone else do the same.”

Here at home, finance minister Paschal Donohoe has said he is looking forward to continuing Ireland’s close friendship with the UK in the wake of Liz Truss’s resignation.

He said: “The political and the economic stability of the United Kingdom is a vital ingredient in the economic prospects of Ireland and indeed of Europe, and the Government of the United Kingdom has reaffirmed their commitment to budgetary and economic standards.

“Ireland has always been a close friend of the United Kingdom and of the government of the United Kingdom, and even during tough and challenging moments during the Brexit process.

“We always affirmed the value of that close friendship and we really look forward in the time ahead to continuing that close friendship and co-operation with the new prime minister of the United Kingdom.”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has also added his voice to calls for a Westminster General Election to remove the Conservative Party from power and install a new Labour led alternative.

Eastwood said:“The Conservative Party has no mandate to govern. Moving the deckchairs around the Tory Titanic will not deliver the radical change that people in Northern Ireland need in terms of support from the cost of living crisis, help to address soaring interest rates and the restoration of devolved government.

“It is far beyond time for a change of government in London and a new Labour led administration that will put an end to this disastrous Conservative rule.”

Internationally, Russia said Britain has “never known such a disgrace as prime minister” after Liz Truss resigned.

“The catastrophic ignorance and the queen’s funeral immediately after her audience with Liz Truss will be remembered,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram. “Britain has never known such a disgrace as prime minister.”

Meanwhile, French president Emmanuel Macron wished Britain a rapid return to “stability”.

Arriving at an EU summit, Macron said he would not comment on British domestic politics, but added: “It is important that Great Britain regains political stability very quickly, and that is all I wish.”

With additional reporting from AFP

Press Association
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