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Keir Starmer To Convene First Cabinet Meeting Ahead Of NATO Summit

Keir Starmer, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has hit the ground running after a grueling six-week election campaign. The center-left politician must immediately focus on assembling his government, addressing a host of domestic issues, and shaping the UK’s foreign relations. Starmer, officially appointed on Friday, faces a formidable list of challenges. Despite […]

Keir Starmer To Convene First Cabinet Meeting Ahead Of NATO Summit
Keir Starmer To Convene First Cabinet Meeting Ahead Of NATO Summit

Keir Starmer, the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has hit the ground running after a grueling six-week election campaign. The center-left politician must immediately focus on assembling his government, addressing a host of domestic issues, and shaping the UK’s foreign relations.

Starmer, officially appointed on Friday, faces a formidable list of challenges. Despite never having served in, let alone led, a government, he expressed confidence in his ability to guide the UK through a period of significant global volatility.

Following his landslide victory, Starmer began forming his government soon after arriving at 10 Downing Street. His Labour Party secured over 400 seats in Thursday’s election, nearly two-thirds of the 650 seats in the House of Commons, giving him a wide pool of lawmakers to choose from.

Key figures in Starmer’s administration include Rachel Reeves, the new Treasury chief. A former Bank of England economist and the first woman to hold this position, Reeves will manage relations with international financial institutions. David Lammy, a Harvard Law School graduate, has been appointed Foreign Secretary. He pledged to reconnect Britain on the global stage for both security and prosperity.

Starmer has made it clear that he intends for the UK to play a larger role internationally, signaling a shift after years of strained relations with Europe due to Brexit. He takes office amidst numerous crises, including the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, a rising far-right, and tensions with China. His background as Britain’s chief prosecutor will be tested in this new role

According to Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director general of the Royal United Services Institute, Britain now boasts the most stable government among major Western democracies. This stability, Chalmers argues, places the UK in a unique position to help maintain Western unity during these turbulent times.

Starmer’s international debut is set for next week at NATO’s 75th-anniversary summit in Washington. The event comes amid concerns about President Joe Biden’s health and the uncertain outcome of the upcoming US presidential election. Starmer has vowed to continue the UK’s strong support for Ukraine and pledged to increase military spending to 2.5% of GDP, though he has not specified a timeline.

Domestically, Starmer faces internal divisions within his party over Israel’s conflict with Hamas. Several Labour MPs lost to pro-Palestinian independents upset by the party’s initial stance on the Gaza conflict.

On July 18, Starmer will host leaders from across Europe at England’s Blenheim Palace for a meeting of the 47-nation European Political Community. This meeting presents an opportunity to repair relations with Europe, which have suffered since Brexit. While Starmer aims to reduce post-Brexit barriers, he has ruled out rejoining the EU’s single market and customs union.

At home, Starmer must address stagnant economic growth, an aging infrastructure, and a National Health Service at breaking point due to long waiting lists and ongoing doctors’ strikes. While ending the strike is a priority, Starmer has committed to controlling spending, which complicates negotiations.

Additionally, Starmer plans to reform migration policies, halting dangerous Channel crossings and scrapping the controversial plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda. He also intends to reinforce the UK’s commitment to combating climate change, reversing the setbacks of the previous administration.

Starmer’s legislative agenda for the coming year will be unveiled on July 17 in a speech delivered by King Charles III at the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament.

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Keir StarmerNATOTDGThe Daily GuardianUK Parliament