Keir Starmer to meet John Swinney in Scotland for first time as PM

The Prime Minister said he wanted to improve relations with the Scottish Government, which has come under strain in recent years.

Keir Starmer to meet John Swinney in Scotland as Prime Minister for first time Getty Images

Keir Starmer will travel to Scotland on Sunday to meet with John Swinney following Labour’s landslide General Election victory on Friday.

The Prime Minister said he will discuss ways of improving Westminster’s relationship with the Scottish Government, which has come under strain in recent years.

Speaking at a news conference in Downing Street after his first Cabinet meeting, Starmer said he would discuss day-to-day challenges with the First Minister.

But he said he would also try to “establish a way of working across the United Kingdom that will be different and better from the way of working that we’ve had in recent years”.

The UK Government under the Tories and the Scottish Government, run by the SNP, have been involved in several bitter disputes over the last few years, including high-profile court cases on gender reforms and Scottish independence.

Starmer signalled that he, and Scottish secretary Ian Murray, are keen to move in a different direction.

The Labour leader, who will also visit Wales and Northern Ireland on Sunday, has already spoken with Swinney after the pair shared a phone call on Friday evening.

Scotland’s First Minister congratulated the new Prime Minister on his appointment and committed to working cooperatively with the UK government on “areas of mutual interest”.

The SNP leader outlined his priorities in government and expressed his belief that the UK and Scottish governments can work together for the “benefit of people in Scotland”.

A spokesperson said: “The First Minister spoke with the Prime Minister by telephone this evening and congratulated him on his appointment.

“He committed to working collaboratively and cooperatively with the UK Government on areas of mutual interest.

“The First Minister has outlined his priorities in government and believes there are many ways in which the two governments can work together to deliver progress on them for the benefit of people in Scotland.”

Labour won a landslide victory across the UK and took dozens of seats from the SNP, which was left on just 9 – down from 48 at the last election.

Scottish Labour returned 37 MPs on Friday.Getty Images

Scottish Labour took 37 of Scotland’s 57 seats, while the UK party won 412. Labour saw a massive 20% swing in vote share from the SNP.

Starmer said the landslide victory in the General Election gave Labour “a clear mandate to govern for all four corners of the United Kingdom”.

The PM said he was “restless for change” but warned that changing the country “is not an overnight exercise”.

After sweeping to a historic victory at the polls, the Labour leader said his party had received “a mandate to do politics differently”.

“This will be a politics and a Government that is about delivery, is about service. Self-interest is yesterday’s politics.”

Starmer also said: “We clearly on Thursday got a mandate from all four nations. For the first time in 20-plus years, we have a majority in England, in Scotland and in Wales.

“And that is a clear mandate to govern for all four corners of the United Kingdom.”

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