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Labour will ‘put NHS back on its feet’ says Starmer on historic victory

Labour will ‘put NHS back on its feet’ says Starmer on historic victory
By Victoria Vaughan
5 July 2024

Labour has won the July 2024 election with a landslide victory gaining 412 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons – 211 more seats than at the 2019 election.

In his first speech outside Number 10, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, said there would be a return of politics to public service and that he would put the ‘NHS back on its feet, facing its future’.

In a dramatic defeat, the Conservatives lost 251 seats, winning 121. The Liberal Democrats have gained 64 seats taking them to 72, the Green Party won four and Reform UK won five seats.

Labour has 33.7% of the vote share, the Conservatives have 23.7%, Reform UK has 14.3%, the Liberal Democrats have 12.2% and the Green Party has 6.7%.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, London, narrowly held onto his seat by 528 votes having his campaign severely dented by Independent candidate Leanne Mohamad, standing on a pro-Palestine platform.

In the build up to the election, Streeting said that primary care had ‘a lot to look forward to’ if Labour won and that he was ‘totally up for system leaders, chief executives, primary care leaders, telling me what we need to do at the centre, to enable them to do the job that they need to do for patients.’

Labour also pledged to shift resources into primary care and trial neighbourhood health centres to bring existing services ‘under one roof’.

Its manifesto stated: ‘The National Health Service needs to move to a Neighbourhood Health Service, with more care delivered in local communities to spot problems earlier. To achieve this, we must over time shift resources to primary care and community services’.

The Party also promised to provide an extra 40,000 NHS appointments and operations per week to cut hospital waiting times which have risen from 2.6 million in May 2010 to 7.6 million in April this year.

Victoria Atkins the current Conservative Secretary of State for health and MP for Louth and Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, held on to her seat with 17,441 votes, followed by Sean Matthews of Reform UK with 11,935 votes.

The majority of seats held by former health secretaries have remained Conservative with just one being gained by Labour.

Former conservative health secretary Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire has held his seat with 16,246 votes followed by Reform UK’s Chris Thornhill with 9,057.

There has been a Labour gain in Suffolk Coastal, the constituency of former Tory health secretary Thérèse Coffey who lost to Labour’s Jenny Riddell-Carpenter by just over 1,000 votes.  

In Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, constituency of the former health secretary Sajid Javid, who stood down as an MP before this election, the Conservative candidate Bradley Thomas held on to the seat with 16,533 of the votes followed by Labour’s Neena Gill with 13,517.

In West Suffolk, the former constituency of Matt Hancock, health secretary during the Covid pandemic from 2018 to 2023, who also stepped down before this election, the Conservative’s Nick Timothy held on to the seat with 15,814 of the votes followed by Labour’s Rebecca Denness with 12,567.

And Jeremy Hunt, health secretary in 2018 and the chancellor since October 2022 narrowly held on to his seat in Godalming and Ash, Surrey, with a majority of 891 votes followed by the Liberal Democrat’s Paul Fallows who won a total of 22,402 votes.

Former Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss narrowly lost to Labour’s Terry Jermy by 630 votes in South West Norfolk after holding the seat since 2010.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, held on to his constituency of Richmond and Northallerton, North Yorkshire with 23,059 votes to Labour’s Tom Wilson who received 10,874 votes.

Sunak said he would step down as party leader after leaving the office of Prime Minister once a successor has been selected.

He apologised to the country and said: ‘You have sent a clear signal that the Government of the United Kingdom must change and yours is the only judgment that matters. I have heard your anger and disappointment and I take responsibility for this loss.’

He wished Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, well, saying he was ‘a decent public-spirited man whom I respect’.  

Source: BBC

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