Starmer praises Abbott in Parliament as Sunak speaks for first time as leader of opposition – live

Rishi Sunak’s first speech as leader of opposition in House of Commons

Sir Keir Starmer has praised Diane Abbott in his first speech in the Commons as prime minister.

Addressing the new mother of the House, he said she “has done so much in her many years to fight for a parliament that truly represents modern Britain”.

Ms Abbott later told the Commons: “I would also like to congratulate the 304 new members of Parliament, who entered Parliament after this election and say to them, it is a great job and you will never regret coming here.”

In his first speech as leader of the opposition, Rishi Sunak described being an MP as the “greatest honour, privilege and responsibility” and added: “One of the great aspects of our system is no matter how high you rise, you still have that constituency which keeps you grounded.”

It comes as the Labour government has ditched the phrase “levelling up” as Sir Keir met with England’s metro mayors this morning.

Secretary of state Angela Rayner said Labour will govern in the nation’s interest, without gimmicks and slogans.

“A government of public service means fixing the fundamentals to deliver for the British people,” she said.


Foreign Office minister takes oath in Welsh

Foreign Office minister Stephen Doughty has become the first MP of this Parliament to take his oath in Welsh.

The Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth first took an oath holding a King James Bible in English.

He then swapped the text for a Welsh Bible and said: “Yr wyf yn addo, trwy gymorth y Goruchaf, y byddaf yn ffyddlon ac yn wir deyrngar i’w Fawrhydi, y Brenin Charles, ei etifeddion a’i olynwyr, yn ol y Ddeddf, yn wyneb Duw.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 17:12


Sunak takes oath on the Bhagavad Gita

Former prime minister Rishi Sunak, who is a practicing Hindu, chose to take his oath on the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit text.

He said: “I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”

All Labour Cabinet members and Tory shadow cabinet members have also sworn in following the General Election.

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband chose to affirm, stating: “”I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law.”

(House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 17:00


Before last week’s general election, Nigel Farage had sought to become an MP multiple times without success.

Nigel Farage takes swipe at former House speaker John Bercow in first Commons speech

Nigel Farage claimed that former House of Commons speaker John Bercow tried to ‘overturn’ Brexit, in his first speech since becoming MP. The leader of Reform UK is the new representative for Clacton and will be joined in parliament by four others from the party. Before last week’s general election, Mr Farage had sought to become an MP multiple times without success. He was, however, a member of the European Parliament for 20 years, during which time he campaigned fiercely for the UK to leave the EU. Reform came second in 98 seats in the 2024 election, many of which are now held by Labour, and Mr Farage has set his sights on the new government, saying it “could be in trouble pretty quickly”.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 16:43


PM affirms as he is sworn in

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer opted to affirm, saying: “”I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles his heirs and successors, according to the law.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 16:25


SDLP leader jokes new MPs should not fall out with Speaker

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has joked new MPs should not fall out with the Speaker.

It came after Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, sat behind Mr Eastwood, elicited groans when he criticised Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s predecessor John Bercow as a “little man”.

The SDLP leader said: “I want to take this opportunity also to welcome all the new members, even the ones that I profoundly disagree with. The one piece of advice I have to give every new member here is to remember that the Speaker doesn’t just chair the meetings – he’s the boss.

“He is in charge of everything around this place and I would do well be it not to fall out with him.”

Mr Eastwood suggested “sucking up sometimes is good” before saying, to laughter: “I would to take this opportunity to say that Mr Speaker, to thank you and congratulating you.

He had earlier said: “We look forward to holding the new Government to account with the promises that they’ve made to the people of the north of Ireland.”

(House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 16:15


Sir Lindsay Hoyle takes oath as Speaker of the House

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has taken his oath as the reelected Speaker of the House before the new government.

He will be followed by the Father of the House and the Mother of the House, then members of the Cabinet and members of the Shadow Cabinet.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 16:03


Junior doctors hail ‘positive meeting’ with health secretary Wes Streeting

Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairmen of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Junior Doctors’ Committee said there are no plans for further strike action “at the moment”, with further negotiations expected next week.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 15:59


Green Party co-leader hopes Parliament can move to ‘less tribal form of politics’

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay congratulated speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle on his appointment and added: “I can already say on behalf of the new cohort of Green MPs that we have been very pleased with the support you have given us when you’ve shown that you go out of your way to support new members in this House and support MPs of all parties to be able to hold the Government to account and represent (their) constituents.”

“May I associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister about the importance of politics being about public service?

“And I very much hope in this new Parliament, we can all move to a less tribal form of politics where we work together where we can agree and move things forward in the national interest.”

(House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 15:55


Sorcha-Lucy Eastwood says her presence in Commons reflects a ‘changing’ Northern Ireland

Alliance MP Sorcha-Lucy Eastwood said her presence in the Commons demonstrates a “changing” Northern Ireland, meanwhile Traditional Unionist Voice MP Jim Allister said he would be on his “best behaviour”.

Speaking in the Commons, the Lagan Valley said: “My presence here demonstrates a changing, more-shared and integrating Northern Ireland, and of that in alliance we are very proud.”

She added: “All of us in this House do owe a debt of gratitude to our constituents, I will never forget the constituents of Lagan Valley and I join with everybody in the whole House in looking forward to committing to public service for all.”

Addressing the re-elected speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Mr Allister said: “With me on my best behaviour, and you at your tolerant best, I trust that we will have a mutually cordially relationship going forward. I will certainly draw upon your guidance and the experience that you bring to this House.”

Mr Allister told the Commons he has a “very clear message” that “Northern Ireland’s place within this United Kingdom must be restored”.

The North Antrim MP added: “We must end the partitioning of our kingdom by a foreign border, and we must end a situation where 300 areas of law in Northern Ireland are not controlled by this House, not controlled by Stormont, but controlled by a foreign Parliament, that is an appalling constitutional afront. And my focus in this House will be in playing my part in seeking to redress that gross inequity.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 15:48


Reform UK leader says his party ‘has no experience in this Parliament’

Reform UK leader and first time MP Nigel Farage said his party were “the new kids on the block.”

He continued: “We have no experience in this Parliament whatsoever, even though some of us have tried many times over the years previously.”

Eliciting groans from the Government benches, Mr Farage compared speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to his predecessor John Bercow.

He said: “We absolutely endorse (Sir Lindsay) entirely for this job. And it is, I must say, in marked contrast to the little man that was there before you and besmirched the office so dreadfully in doing his best to overturn the biggest democratic result in the history of the country. We support you Sir fully.”

DUP leader Gavin Robinson also welcomed Sir Lindsay Hoyle, making reference to his earlier mention of DUP MP Jim Shannon.

He said: “Congratulations Mr Speaker-elect, we are thrilled to see you back in your seat but for those new members of parliament who have yet to understand just how this place works, some of them will learn through time that Jim Shannon needed no further encouragement.”

(House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain9 July 2024 15:41