1. Home
  2. English
  3. Business
  4. Roving Periscope: Post-poll, Sunak as PM is history; Britain may face Labour pains
Roving Periscope: Post-poll, Sunak as PM is history; Britain may face Labour pains

Roving Periscope: Post-poll, Sunak as PM is history; Britain may face Labour pains

Social Share

Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: Tasting a landslide defeat in the snap polls, as many predicted, the United Kingdom’s first India-born Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat on Friday as his Conservative Party was on course for one of its worst election defeats ever, while the Keir Starmer-led Labour Party sprinted towards a thumping victory in the historic House of Commons vote held on Thursday.

When the rest of Europe is politically turning far right, Brexit-hit Britain may now become more isolated on the Continent, particularly during the inconclusive, ongoing Ukraine War in which the US-led NATO might take tougher anti-Russian measures in the coming weeks.

However, a major trend that may dominate the discourse in the UK, as it is doing in Europe, will be far-right Nigel Farage finally being elected as an MP in his eighth attempt and leading his anti-immigration Reform UK to three seats in the Commons.

Also, unlike Europe, Britain might emulate Canada to ‘protect’ the Muslim and Sikh immigrants, among others, thus potentially jeopardizing the long-expected Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India which the two countries were bracing to sign soon.

Available official results showed the Labour Party won enough seats to have a majority in the UK Parliament and form the next government. It is estimated to have a majority of around 160 seats in the House of Commons. The party had already won the required 326 of the 650 seats by 5 am on Friday as counting progressed, the media reported on Saturday.

Although Sunak himself comfortably held on to his own Richmond and Northallerton seat in northern England with 23,059 votes, he failed to turn things around for his increasingly unpopular Conservative Party at the national level as it faced accumulated anti-incumbency after 14 years in government.

Nine other Indian Britons also won their parliamentary seats.

A somber-looking Sunak was joined by his wife Akshata Murty as his future as a member of Parliament was decided and he chose to use his acceptance speech to also admit his party’s defeat in winning another term in government.

“The Labour Party has won this general election and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory,” said Sunak, acknowledging the “sobering verdict” handed to his party.

“Today power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner with goodwill on all sides and it should give us all confidence in our country’s stability and future,” he said.

There is much to learn and reflect on, Sunak said.

Taking responsibility for his party’s defeat, the outgoing PM told voters: “I am sorry.”

With some of the most prominent ministers and MPs such as Grant Shapps and Penny Mordaunt losing the election, the results are being dubbed a “bloodbath” for the Conservatives, also known as Tories.

In contrast, Labour’s Starmer is ready to take charge at 10 Downing Street as Britain’s new Prime Minister after he also comfortably won his seat of Holborn and St. Pancras in London.

“The change begins right here. Because this is your democracy, your community, and your future. You have voted. It is now time for us to deliver,” said Starmer in his acceptance speech as he was mobbed by his celebrating supporters.

While the customary election night exit poll forecast 410 seats for the Opposition party, the outlook as the trends and results tally take shape is pegging it around 405 seats with the Tories down to only 154. The Liberal Democrats are also among the big winners of this election, set to bag around 56 members in the Lower House of Parliament.

The Scottish National Party (SNP), which fought for independence in Scotland, lost seats to Labour.

Now, in the House of Commons, 10 Indian-origin politicians have made their place. Besides ex-PM, Rishi Sunak, the other key winners are:
(1) Preet Kaur Gill: A member of the Labour Party, was re-elected from Birmingham Edgbaston. She previously held the position of Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health;

(2) Priti Patel: A former Home Secretary, she kept her seat in Witham, Essex, securing 37.2 percent of the vote to surpass the Labour Party candidate and secure a victory. Of Gujarati descent, she held the position of Home Secretary from 2019 to 2022. Patel, a member of the Conservative Party, has represented Witham as an MP since 2010; and

(3) Suella Braverman: A member of the Conservative Party, she held the position of Chair of the European Research Group between 2017 and 2018. She also served as the Attorney General for England and Wales from 2020 to March 2021 and later from September 2021 to 2022. Braverman represented Fareham as an MP from 2015 until 2024.

Other Indian Britons who won are Gagan Mohindra, Kanishka Narayan, Navendu Mishra, Lisa Nandy, Shivani Raja, and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi.


Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code