Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Hundreds of UK lawmakers sworn in following parliament’s return after general election

Hundreds of newly elected lawmakers gathered in Parliament with excitement after a British election brought a Labour government to power, according to AP News.

335 of the 650 members of the House of Commons arrived for the first time. There were 140 new lawmakers in parliament in 2019.

The new House of Commons has the highest number of women ever elected – 263, about 40% of the total – and the highest number of legislators of colour – 90. The youngest new legislator is Labour’s Sam Carling, 22.

The first task of the legislators was to elect a Speaker who would oversee the activities of the House of Commons and try to keep the assembly in check. The speaker is chosen from the ranks of legislators and does not take into account their party affiliation as long as they fulfil an impartial role.

Lindsay Hoyle, originally elected for Labour to the speaker’s post in 2019, was re-elected unopposed. He promised lawmakers he would continue to be “fair, impartial and independent.”

Newly elected Premier Keir Starmer stated that all lawmakers had a duty “to put an end to a politics that has too often seemed self-serving and self-obsessed, and to replace that politics of performance with the politics of service.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak, who had just suffered a crushing electoral defeat for the Conservatives, agreed that “in our politics, we can argue vigorously, as the prime minister and I did over the past six weeks, but still respect each other.”

Further steps

Once all MPs have been sworn in, the House of Commons will remain in session until 17 July, when the new session officially begins with the State Opening of Parliament. The new government will set out its legislative plans for the coming year in a speech to be read by the King atop a golden throne.

The King’s speech is expected to include plans to create a state-owned green energy company called Great British Energy, change planning rules to allow more new homes to be built and nationalise the UK’s delay-plagued railways.

Former Prime Minister Sunak will serve as Leader of the Opposition until the Conservative Party chooses his replacement.


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