Landslide victory allows Labour to ‘begin the work of national renewal’

Friday morning dawned with the “sunlight of hope”, according to new Prime Minister, Sir Kier Starmer, who has won the UK general election in a landslide victory. With 412 MPs, Sir Kier promised to “end the politics of performance and return to the politics of public service.”

The election brings 14 years of frequently chaotic Conservative government to an end, with the number of Conservative Members of Parliament falling to just 121.

The Lib Dems had their best ever night, winning 72 seats, up from just 11 in 2019 – while the Scottish National Party crashed to 9 seats, down from 48 in 2019.

Reform won 5 seats. They claimed votes mostly from the Conservatives but they also put pressure on Labour and came second in many red wall seats.

The Greens won 4 MPs, up from 1.  

Wales now has no Conservative MPs and Plaid Cymru won 4 of the available seats.

The election raises questions about Britain’s first-past-the-post system. Labour won two thirds of the seats on one third of the national vote share. The Lib Dems carried away 71 seats with 12.2% of the vote – while Reform won 5 seats with 14.3% of the vote, and the Greens won 4 seats with the support of 6.8% of electors.

In his victory speech, Sir Kier Starmer spoke of the “sunlight of hope, pale at first, but getting stronger through the day, shining once again in a country with an opportunity after 14 years to get its future back.

Labour said that this election was, “an opportunity to begin the work of national renewal. A rebuilding of our country, so that it once again serves the interests of working people.”

Labour’s manifesto offered an ambitious “long-term plan”, which included “accelerating to net zero”, making “the UK the green finance capital of the world”, “championing British farming whilst protecting the environment”, and recognising that “the climate crisis has accelerated the nature crisis”.

Labour said, “Britain’s world-leading financial services industry has a major role to play in mobilising trillions of pounds in private capital to address the greatest long-term challenge of our age.

“Labour will make the UK the green finance capital of the world, mandating UK-regulated financial institutions – including banks, asset managers, pension funds, and insurers – and FTSE 100 companies to develop and implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.”

On food and farming, Labour said that it “recognises that food security is national security.” They said, “We will champion British farming whilst protecting the environment. We will set a target for half of all food purchased across the public sector to be locally produced or certified to higher environmental standards. We will introduce a land-use framework and make environment land management schemes work for farmers and nature. And we will work with farmers and scientists on measures to eradicate Bovine TB, protecting livelihoods, so that we can end the ineffective badger cull.”

On the environment, Labour said, “The climate crisis has accelerated the nature crisis.” The manifesto said that while Britain enjoys remarkable natural beauty, Britain is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. “Labour will deliver for nature, taking action to meet our Environment Act targets, and will work in partnership with civil society, communities and business to restore and protect our natural world.

“As part of our plans to improve responsible access to nature, Labour will create nine new National River Walks, one in each region of England, and establish three new National Forests in England, whilst planting millions of trees and creating new woodlands. Labour will expand nature-rich habitats such as wetlands, peat bogs and forests so families can explore and wildlife can thrive, including on public land. Labour is committed to reducing waste by moving to a circular economy.”

For more about Labour’s manifesto promises click here

Phil Carson and ffinlo Costain will discuss what the election result means for food, farming and nature on Wheat From The Chaff, early next week.

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