Keir Starmer becomes Britain's new Prime Minister after "kissing of hands" with King Charles

Labour leader Keir Starmer has met King Charles to formally become Prime Minister and form the next UK Government.

Starmer received the blessing of the King to form a government in a ceremony known as the "kissing of hands".

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: "The King received in Audience The Right Honourable Sir Keir Starmer MP today and requested him to form a new Administration.

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

After Labour's crushing landslide victory in the general election, the new PM is now heading to Downing Street where he'll shortly address the nations.

starmer king charles
King Charles III welcomes Sir Keir Starmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace, where he invited the leader of the Labour Party to become Prime Minister and form a new government. -Credit:Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Crowds have already been gathering to line the route to No 10 waving Union Jacks, saltires and Welsh flags.

Earlier, departing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave a farewell statement outside Downing Street apologising to the public and his party after the worst defeat in their history.

Sunak said: "To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry.

"I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgment that matters.

"I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss."

After 648 of the 650 Commons seats had been declared, Labour had a majority of 176. Labour had 412 seats and the Tories 121.

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