New UK PM Keir Starmer seeks ‘reset’ after victory

LONDON: British Prime Minister Keir Starmer is heading off Sunday to the four corners of the UK as part of an “immediate reset” with governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Starmer, who said he has a “mandate to do politics differently” after his party’s landslide victory, will meet Scottish First Minister John Swinney in Edinburgh in an effort to “turn disagreement into cooperation”.

“That begins today with an immediate reset of my government’s approach to working with the first and deputy first ministers,” he said. “Meaningful co-operation centered on respect will be key to delivering change across our United Kingdom.”

While each of the devolved nations in the UK elects members to the House of Commons in London, they also have their own regional parliaments.

Starmer’s Labour Party trounced Swinney’s Scottish National Party for seats in Parliament. But the SNP, which has pushed for Scottish independence, still holds a majority at Holyrood, the Scottish parliament. The trip to build better working relations across the UK is part of Starmer’s broader mission to work toward serving people as he tackles of mountain of problems.

The Labour government inherited a wobbly economy that left Britons struggling to pay bills after global economic woes and fiscal missteps. It also faces a public that is disenchanted after 14 years of chaotic Conservative rule and fiscal austerity that hollowed out public services, including the revered National Health Service, which Starmer declared broken.Starmer said he wants to transfer power from the bureaucratic halls of government in London to leaders who know what’s best for their communities.After his brief tour, he’ll return to England, where he plans to meet with regional mayors, saying in his first news conference on Saturday that he would engage with politicians regardless of their party.

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