Rishi Sunak's final speech as Prime Minister after defeat in UK elections

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

Outgoing United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday apologised to the nation after the Conservative Party's defeat in the general election, its biggest loss in recent times, and accepted responsibility for the loss.

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In his last speech to the nation as Prime Minister, Sunak said from outside 10 Downing Street, “The first thing I would like to say to the people of the country is that I am sorry. I have given my best in this job, but you have clearly indicated that the government of the United Kingdom must change and only your decision matters. I take responsibility for this defeat… After this result, I will resign from the post of party leader…”

The 44-year-old leader said he would resign as leader of the Conservative Party, which has suffered a landslide defeat in the election.

He said, “Following this result, I will resign as party leader”, a move that would trigger a contest for the next Conservative leader.

The Labour Party has won the UK general election, according to results declared from almost all parliamentary seats. Keir Starmer will be the next Prime Minister and will soon meet the King, where he will be invited to form a government.

The Conservative Party lost more than 250 seats and now has to remain in opposition.

Sunak said, “…this is a difficult day after many difficult days. This is the best country in the world and the credit for that goes entirely to you, the British people.”

In his farewell speech as prime minister, Sunak greeted Starmer as a “decent, public-spirited man”. “While he has been my political rival, Keir Starmer will soon be our prime minister. In this position, his successes will be all our successes, and I wish him and his family all the best. Whatever our disagreements in this campaign, he is a decent, public-spirited man whom I respect,” Sunak said.

The outgoing prime minister said he had heard the “anger” of British voters who had handed his Conservative Party its worst ever defeat, and apologised to candidates who lost their seats.

“To all the Conservative candidates and campaigners who worked tirelessly but were not successful, I am sorry we could not give them what they deserve. It saddens me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and to our country will no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service,” Sunak said.

Reflecting on his 21 months as prime minister, Sunak said he had “returned stability to our economy” and reset Britain's relationships with its allies.

Sunak said, “I have given everything I have to this job. But you have sent a clear message, and your decision is the only one that matters. This is a difficult day, but I am leaving this post because I have had the honour of being the Prime Minister of the best country in the world.”

He cited a major agreement to normalise relations between Britain and the EU in the wake of Brexit – a policy he supported – as another of his achievements.

“When I first stood here as your prime minister, I told you that my most important task was to return stability to our economy. Inflation is on target, mortgage rates are falling and growth is back. We have enhanced our standing in the world, rebuilt relationships with allies, led global efforts to support Ukraine, and become home to a new generation of transformational technologies. And our United Kingdom has also grown stronger. With the Windsor framework, decolonisation was restored in Northern Ireland, and our union strengthened. I am proud of those achievements. I believe this country is safer, stronger and more secure than it was 20 months ago. And it is more prosperous, fair and resilient than it was in 2010,” Sunak said.

The next step in the transfer of power in Britain will be Sunak's meeting with King Charles, after which Starmer will be invited to the palace and invited to form the next government.

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