Keir Starmer appointed UK PM after Labour's landslide election win

The king earlier accepted the resignation of Conservative leader Rishi Sunak.

Britain's head of state King Charles III officially appointed Labour leader Keir Starmer as prime minister on Friday (Jul 5) during an audience at Buckingham Palace.

A photograph released by the palace showed the monarch shaking hands with Starmer, whose party won a landslide election victory. The king earlier accepted the resignation of Conservative leader Rishi Sunak.

"The King received in Audience The Right Honourable Sir Keir Starmer MP today and requested him to form a new Administration," a palace statement read.

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

Under Britain’s constitutional monarchy, the king is head of state but must remain politically neutral and leave policy-making to the elected parliament. He is obliged to follow the government’s advice and not act on his own opinions.

"The work of change begins immediately," Starmer told reporters outside Downing Street after accepting head of state King Charles III's request for him to form a government.

"But have no doubt, we will rebuild Britain," he added.

He also paid tribute to Sunak, who was appointed Tory leader and prime minister in October 2022 after Liz Truss' disastrous tenure.

"His achievement as the first British-Asian prime minister of our country, the extra effort that will have required, should not be underestimated by anyone," he said.

"We pay tribute to that today. We also recognise the dedication and hard work he brought to his leadership," he added.

Starmer's centre-left Labour Party swept to power on Friday after the general election, ending 14 years of right-wing Conservative rule by Sunak's party.

Labour crossed the 326-seat threshold for a working majority in the 650-seat parliament. It is forecast to win a landslide with 410 seats.

"A mandate like this comes with a great responsibility," Starmer told supporters at a triumphant dawn rally in London, moments after the results that sealed its landslide win were announced.

The 61-year-old pledged to start work straightaway on improving the country.