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Huge amount of work to do, Starmer tells ministers at first Cabinet meeting

06 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Sir Keir Starmer hosting the new government’s first Cabinet meeting. Photo PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer told ministers there was a “huge amount of work to do” as he chaired the first meeting of his new Cabinet on his first full day in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister told his top team it had been “the honour and the privilege of my life” to be invited by the King to form the Government after sweeping to an historic victory at the polls.

In brief remarks at the top of the meeting, he told ministers: “We have a huge amount of work to do, so now we get on with our work.”

Shadow cabinet

Sir Keir appointed his Cabinet on Friday, making only minor changes to the shadow cabinet that existed before the election.

He confirmed Rachel Reeves as the UK’s first woman chancellor, Angela Rayner as his deputy and Housing Secretary and Pat McFadden as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

David Lammy was officially named Foreign Secretary, Yvette Cooper Home Secretary, John Healey Defence Secretary, Wes Streeting Health Secretary and Bridget Phillipson Education Secretary.

Shabana Mahmood and Ed Miliband will retain their briefs of justice and energy respectively, but former attorney general Emily Thornberry was replaced by barrister Richard Hermer KC.

Sir Keir and ministers looked in high spirits as the Prime Minister said: “Colleagues, it is absolutely fantastic to welcome you to the Cabinet, our first meeting, and it was the honour and the privilege of my life to be invited by His Majesty the King yesterday to form the Government, and to form the Labour Government of 2024.

“And now we hold our first Cabinet meeting, so I welcome you to it.”

The Cabinet met in Downing Street with Sir Keir set to face questions from journalists later in his first press conference as Prime Minister on Saturday.

Other ministerial appointments are expected be announced over the weekend, with Mr McFadden saying Sir Keir will move to quickly allocate responsibilities ahead of the Nato summit.


Sir Keir will make his debut on the international stage as Britain’s premier when he flies to Washington DC for the gathering next week, which is expected to include discussions on support for Ukraine.

He is also due to host the European Political Community summit in the UK on July 18.

It comes after Sir Keir promised “the work of change begins immediately” after leading Labour to landslide victory at the General Election on Friday.

Labour won 412 seats and the Tories 121, marking the worst result in the party’s history.

In his first speech on Downing Street, Sir Keir pledged to usher in an era marked by “stability and moderation” as he told voters: “My Government will serve you” whether or not they backed his party.

After a low turnout at the polls, he spoke of the need to rebuild trust in the political system following 14 years of Tory rule marred by the Partygate scandal and the chaos of Conservative infighting.

Labour’s vote share also suggests the new Government is unlikely to enjoy much of a honeymoon period, with around 34% of the electorate backing the party – less than Jeremy Corbyn secured in 2017.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
13 days ago

Surely the Home Office will need a deep-clean before it is fit for human habitation…

Real skeletons of refugees in the cupboards…

Repeat for Foreign, Health and the DWP…

IDS the ghost of Christmas past…

The thought sends shivers down my spine…

13 days ago

“Huge amount of work to do” says Starmer. Well, he could start by making it clear to the whole world that the UK is made up of four nations, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England NOT just England as the president of the United States seems to think. In a BBC interview this morning he referred to the prime minister of England. If the US president doesn’t know we have no chance of recognition. It’s time for us here in Cymru to make some sort of impact to be recognised on the world map. Come on Senedd, get your fingers… Read more »

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