Starmer to hold first Cabinet meeting as Nato summit approaches

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is expected to hold the first meeting of his new Cabinet as he looks to start working on Labour’s manifesto pledges and preparing for a Nato summit next week.

Sir Keir made a raft of appointments on his first day at Number 10 and spoke with international leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

The Prime Minister confirmed Rachel Reeves as Britain’s first woman chancellor, Yvette Cooper as Home Secretary and David Lammy as Foreign Secretary.

Angela Rayner officially became his Deputy Prime Minister and retained the levelling up, housing and communities brief.

John Healey was named Defence Secretary; Shabana Mahmood Justice Secretary; Wes Streeting Health Secretary; Bridget Phillipson Education Secretary; and Ed Miliband Energy Secretary.

After 649 of the 650 Commons seats had been declared, Labour had a majority of 176.

Labour had 412 seats and the Tories 121, the worst result in the Conservative Party’s history.

The Liberal Democrats won 71 seats, while Reform netted five.

A recount in the last seat left to declare: Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire; will not start until 10.30am on Saturday, delaying the final result of the General Election.

In his first speech on Downing Street, Sir Keir said the British people had voted “decisively for change”.

He said the country could “move forward together” as Labour took office following 14 years of Conservative rule.

General Election 2024
Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria outside No 10 Downing Street (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Pat McFadden, who played a central role in shaping Labour’s election campaign and was named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said the new Cabinet would meet on Saturday.

He told BBC Radio 4 that Sir Keir would have to quickly allocate responsibilities and “give his new Cabinet their marching orders and then there’s big international events coming.

“We have a Nato summit next week. That will be his first moment on the international stage. And while he’s doing that, he will want his new Cabinet to get on with it pretty quickly.”

He said high on Sir Keir’s agenda will be the six first steps Labour has set out: delivering economic stability, cutting NHS waiting times, launching a new border security command, setting up Great British Energy, cracking down on anti-social behaviour, and recruiting 6,500 new teachers.

Just days after his appointment, Sir Keir will be propelled onto the international stage, jetting to Washington DC for the Nato leaders’ summit, where discussions will include support for Ukraine.

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

The Prime Minister has already spoken to US President Joe Biden and discussed their commitment to the special relationship between the UK and US, protecting the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and support for Ukraine.

Sir Keir also spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reassured him of the “unwavering commitment” and said the UK would continue supplying defensive support.

He had calls with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He also talked to Irish premier Simon Harris, who accepted an invitation to visit Downing Street on July 17 and Scottish First Minister John Swinney.