The Telegraph 2024-07-06 16:12:26

Boris warns Tories not to merge with Reform

Boris Johnson has warned the Conservatives not to merge with Reform UK as he laid out his vision for how they can revive their electoral fortunes.

The party has suffered a crushing defeat at the general election, sinking to just 121 MPs and haemorrhaging votes to Nigel Farage’s party across the country.

But the former prime minister urged the “Tory survivors” who now form the Opposition not to “absorb other parties” in a bid to rebuild.

In his first intervention after the general election, Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Mail: “I say to my fellow Conservatives, we are the oldest, most successful political party in British history.

“We are capable of endless regeneration. We don’t need to try to absorb other parties, to try to acquire their vitality like a transfusion of monkey glands.”

He added: “We need to occupy the space ourselves – and my humble suggestion to the 121 is that they need to rebuild that giant coalition of 2019, get back to some of the big themes that proved so successful that we won seats across the country.”

‘Pied Piper of Clacton’

The former Tory leader said that Mr Farage, whom he called “the cheroot-puffing Pied Piper of Clacton” has played a “significant part – as he no doubt intended – in the destruction of the Tory government”.

The question of how the Tories should approach Reform, which has four MPs, is expected to dominate early debate in the upcoming Conservative leadership race.

MPs planning to campaign for the party leadership will be split on whether or not to welcome Mr Farage. Suella Braverman, the former home secretary has said he should be allowed to join the Conservatives, stressing the need to reunite the Right.

However, Kemi Badenoch, the former business secretary, Robert Jenrick, the former immigration minister, and Tom Tugendhat, the former security minister, have all argued against doing so.

Priti Patel has not given a definitive response to the question but was filmed dancing to karaoke with Mr Farage at last year’s Tory conference.

Mr Farage, for his part, has repeatedly suggested that he would not wish to join the Conservatives, saying that the party is “dead”.

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Keir Starmer announces new Labour Cabinet

Sir Keir Starmer has appointed David Lammy as his Foreign Secretary as he builds his Labour Cabinet.

The Prime Minister quashed speculation that Mr Lammy would not get the job after being largely absent on the campaign trail, with Sir Keir having distanced himself from remarks he previously made about Donald Trump.

Mr Lammy was the fourth appointment to Cabinet, following Angela Rayner as Deputy Prime Minister and Levelling Up Secretary, Rachel Reeves as the first female Chancellor, and Pat McFadden as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Ms Rayner, who faced intense scrutiny over her tax affairs during the election campaign, was seen walking down Downing Street for a meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday afternoon.

Her elected position as deputy leader means she is the only person Sir Keir cannot sack, although he can control the size of the empire she is given.

Ms Reeves said her appointment carried a “historic responsibility”, adding that it should inspire young women that “there should be no limits on your ambitions”.

Yvette Cooper was confirmed as Home Secretary, returning to government after holding posts under Sir Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. John Healey is the new Defence Secretary. Wes Streeting was confirmed as Health Secretary, while Shabana Mahmood is the new Justice Secretary.

Sir Keir is expected to appoint most of the major figures in his shadow cabinet to his new Cabinet.

Sir Keir was elected Labour leader in April 2020, replacing Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of the party’s historic defeat at the 2019 election. He made his Westminster debut as the MP for Holborn and St Pancras in May 2015.

Before that, he was an accomplished lawyer specialising in human rights, eventually working his way up to serve as Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service. In 2014, he received a knighthood for his services to criminal justice.

Sir Keir grew up in Surrey, where he won a place at Reigate Grammar School after passing the 11-plus exam. It became a private school two years after he joined, although existing pupils like him had their fees covered up to the age of 16 by the local council. 

He went on to study law at the University of Leeds and later obtained a postgraduate degree from Oxford.

Sir Keir’s father was a toolmaker, and his mother was a nurse. He has said he “grew up working class”, and during the election campaign often recalled the time his parents had their phone cut off to save money when he was a child.

He is married to Victoria, who works in the NHS. He has two teenage children, aged 13 and 16, who he never names or allows to be photographed in public.

Angela Rayner was first elected as the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015 and served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet for several years before being appointed as Sir Keir’s deputy leader in 2020.

The forthright MP describes herself as working class, and highlights on her website that she is “not an Oxbridge-educated, former special adviser, professional politician”, nor did she have a “privileged upbringing”.

Born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, Ms Rayner grew up on a council estate and attended her local comprehensive, Avondale High School, now Stockport Academy. She recalls being told that she would “never amount to anything” after falling pregnant at 16 and leaving school with no qualifications.

She went on to become a care worker for the local council before working her way up to a senior role at the Unison trade union. In 2015, she became the first female MP in  Ashton-under-Lyne’s 180-year history.

She will effectively be Housing Secretary, building on Labour’s pledge to construct homes up and down the country.

Ms Rayner was accused of misleading tax officials over the address of her main residence earlier this year. She always denied wrongdoing, and was cleared of owing capital gains tax on the sale of her home after an investigation by HMRC.

Rachel Reeves, the MP for Leeds West since 2010, has become the first female Chancellor. She was promoted to shadow chancellor in May 2021, having first been appointed shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when Sir Keir took over as leader.

She did not serve in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, but did hold senior roles in Ed Miliband’s top team when he was Labour leader, including that of shadow work and pensions secretary.

Ms Reeves said she hoped her appointment as the first female Chancellor would inspire future generations of women, saying: “It is the honour of my life to have been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“I know what responsibility it brings, and I am ready to deliver the change our economy needs to make working people in all parts of the country better off. It comes with a historic responsibility as the first woman to be appointed Chancellor. To every young girl and woman reading this, let today show that there should be no limits on your ambitions.”

David Lammy, the Foreign Secretary, was first elected as the MP for Tottenham in 2000, in a by-election triggered by the death of Bernie Grant.

He served in both the Blair and Brown governments before returning to the backbenches in opposition for nearly a decade. He was appointed as Sir Keir’s shadow justice secretary in November 2020, and promoted to the foreign brief in 2021.

Despite his previous experience in government, Mr Lammy’s place in the Cabinet did not appear assured. He was largely absent from the campaign trail, and there were rumours that Sir Keir intended to replace him.

Yvette Cooper returns to government as Home Secretary, having first been first elected in the 1997 Labour landslide and subsequently holding several government posts under both Sir Tony Blair and Mr Brown. 

She went on to serve in Mr Miliband’s shadow cabinet before returning to the backbenches under Mr Corbyn’s leadership. Since November 2021, she had been Sir Keir’s shadow home secretary.

She has had a long career in politics, working on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in the early 1990s and advising the former Labour leader John Smith and veteran MP Harriet Harman. Before her election in 1997, she worked as a journalist at The Independent.

Richard Hermer KC, the Attorney General, was a surprise appointment and is not an elected MP.

He will be made a peer to take the attending Cabinet role, which had been expected to go to Emily Thornberry who held the shadow position since November 2021.

Mr Hermer is a barrister at Matrix chambers, a set co-founded by Sir Tony Blair’s wife Cherie.

The lawyer has had a career in public international law spanning two decades, and has brought claims against governments, including against the UK authorities.

He acted for over 900 victims in the Grenfell Tower disaster, and also on behalf of children unlawfully held in immigration detention centres.

Shabana Mahmood, the Justice Secretary, was first elected to represent Birmingham Ladywood in 2010. She started in Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet as his campaign chief, taking on the justice role last year.

Ms Mahmood was born in Birmingham but lived for five years as a young child in Taif, Saudi Arabia, where her father relocated to work as a civil engineer. 

Lisa Nandy has been appointed as the new Culture Secretary. The role had been earmarked for Thangam Debbonaire before she lost her seat to the Greens in Bristol.

The Culture Secretary has one of the most diverse jobs in Whitehall, which includes negotiation of the BBC licence fee agreement every five years.

In opposition, Ms Nandy had been shadow international development secretary. Four years ago, she blamed the Tories under Boris Johnson for fostering an “anti-media and anti-BBC feeling” on social media by threatening to scrap the licence fee.

Steve Reed was first elected to represent Croydon North at a 2012 the by-election to replace the late MP, Malcolm Wicks.

He has held a number of front bench roles across the Miliband, Corbyn and Starmer years, including in the shadow Home Office, education and justice teams. He became shadow environment secretary, having been reshuffled from the justice brief in November 2021.

Before running for Parliament, Mr Reed worked in education and business publishing. He also led Lambeth council for more than six years.

John Healey was first elected to Parliament as the MP for Wentworth in 1997, and went on to serve in both the Blair and Brown governments. 

He has also been a prominent figure in opposition, serving as the shadow secretary of state for health, housing and defence under Mr Miliband, Mr Corbyn and Sir Keir respectively.

Before his political career, Mr Healey worked in the charity sector and served as the campaigns director for the Trades Union Congress for three years.

Wes Streeting, the Health Secretary, who was first elected the MP for Ilford North in 2015, had been the shadow health secretary since November 2021. 

He previously served as Sir Keir’s shadow secretary of state for child poverty and the shadow schools minister, as well as the shadow exchequer secretary to the Treasury.

Before becoming an MP, he served as the deputy leader of Redbridge council and worked for various charities with a focus on tackling educational inequality.

Ed Miliband has been the shadow energy secretary since 2021. He previously led Labour from 2010 to 2015, stepping down following the party’s crushing loss to the Tories at the 2015 general election.

He was first elected as the MP for Doncaster North in May 2005, and served in Gordon Brown’s government before succeeding the New Labour veteran as leader, having defeated his brother David in the race for the top job.

He took a break from front-line politics during Mr Corbyn’s tenure, returning as Sir Keir’s shadow business secretary before taking the energy brief.

Bridget Phillipson had been Sir Keir’s shadow education secretary since November 2021, following her promotion from shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

Since she was first elected as MP for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2010, she has served as an opposition whip under Mr Miliband and sat on several parliamentary committees, including the high-profile public accounts committee.

Before running for Parliament, she managed a refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Pat McFadden was first elected as the MP for Wolverhampton South East in 2005, and has held several senior posts in opposition, including shadow business secretary under Ed Miliband and shadow chief secretary to the Treasury under Sir Keir. 

Last year, he was made shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Labour’s campaign chief.

Before running for Parliament, he worked as a researcher for Donald Dewar, a Scottish Labour MP, and as a speechwriter for the former Labour leader John Smith. He was also an adviser to Sir Tony, both in opposition and later in Downing Street.

Louise Haigh was first elected as the MP for Sheffield Heeley in 2015, and held several junior roles on Mr Corbyn’s front bench before being appointed as shadow Northern Ireland secretary when Sir Keir took charge, and later as shadow transport secretary.

Before running for Parliament, Ms Haigh, who describes herself as a “proud trade unionist” and stands out among MPs with her brightly-dyed hair, worked for the local council youth service and served as a shop steward for the Unite union. She also volunteered as a special constable in the Metropolitan Police.

Ian Murray was first elected to Parliament in 2010 as the MP for Edinburgh South. He quickly got involved in committees, joining three in his first year, and was promoted to the Labour frontbench in 2011, where he was made a business minister. He returned to the backbenches during the Corbyn years before being brought back into the fold as Sir Keir’s shadow secretary of state for Scotland.

Mr Murray grew up on a housing estate in Edinburgh in a family that worked as coopers and slaughtermen. He attended Wester Hailes education centre and got his first job as a paperboy at the age of 12. He went on to study social policy and law at the University of Edinburgh, and later launched his own events management business.

Jo Stevens was first elected as the MP for Cardiff Central in 2015, and held several roles on Mr Cobyn’s frontbench before quitting in 2017 over Labour’s position on Brexit. She was brought back on by Sir Keir in 2020, first as shadow culture secretary, and then as shadow secretary of state for Wales.

Ms Stevens, a former lawyer, grew up in North Wales and attended Argoed High School and Elfed High School, both state-funded. She went on to study law at the University of Manchester before joining Thompsons Solicitors, an employment rights firm with a focus on social justice.

Hilary Benn, the son of Tony Benn, the prominent Left-wing Labour politician, was first elected to Parliament in 1999, two years after Sir Tony’s landslide victory, at the by-election to replace the late Leeds Central MP Derek Fatchett.

He held a number of senior government roles under both Sir Tony and Mr Brown, including an almost four-year stint as secretary of state for international development, and remained on the Labour frontbench until he was sacked by Mr Corbyn in 2016. After a long hiatus, he returned last year as Sir Keir’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary.

Peter Kyle entered Parliament as the MP for Hove in 2015, and was first appointed to the Labour frontbench when Sir Keir became leader five years later.

He was promoted to shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland in 2021, and took on the science brief last year.

Before running for office, he worked as an aid worker in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, setting up an orphanage in Romania. He returned to the UK to work on policy in the Cabinet Office.

Liz Kendall was first elected as the MP for Leicester West in 2010. She served on Mr Miliband’s front bench and later as a shadow health minister under Sir Keir before being promoted to shadow work and pensions secretary.

Before running for office, she was director of the Ambulance Service Network and the Maternity Alliance charity. She also worked for two think tanks, one of them the Institute for Public Policy Research, where she specialised in health, social care and children’s early years.

Jonathan Reynolds was first elected as the MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in 2010, and has held several front bench roles over the years, including under Mr Corbyn.

Sir Keir appointed him as shadow work and pensions secretary in 2020 before he was moved to the business brief in 2021.

Before becoming an MP, he worked at Stockport council and qualified as a lawyer.

Lucy Powell has been a long-serving shadow minister under three successive Labour leaders: Mr Miliband, Mr Corbyn and Sir Keir.

Having previously been a pro-Euro campaigner and adviser to Mr Miliband, she was first elected to the Commons when she won a 2012 by-election in Manchester Central.

She held the seat at the general election with a majority of 13,797 and has now become Leader of the Commons after previously holding the shadow portfolio.

James Timpson has been ennobled and will become minister of state for prisons, parole and probation. 

He has been the chief executive of Timpson, the high street shoe repair and key cutting chain, since 2002.

The firm is known for employing released prisoners and Mr Timpson has been chair of the Prison Reform Trust since 2016.

Sir Patrick Vallance has been appointed as the minister of state for science, having served as the Government’s chief scientific adviser from 2018 to 2023.

He came to prominence during the pandemic as one of the scientific experts who appeared on the nation’s televisions in daily briefings. Sir Patrick, 64, publicly backed Labour’s flagship manifesto pledge to set up a publicly owned energy firm in May.

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Sunak resigns as Tory leader in final speech as PM outside No10

  • Follow the latest election updates in the liveblog

Rishi Sunak has announced that he will stand down as Tory leader after taking the party to the worst result in its history.

The former prime minister said he would leave the role as soon as the arrangements to choose his successor have been put in place.

In his exit speech on the steps of No 10 he apologised to the country after Labour won a historic landslide, telling voters: “I am sorry.”

“I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility,” he said in his final address as his wife Akshata Murty watched on.

“This is a difficult day at the end of a number of difficult days but I leave this job honoured to have been your prime minister.”

Mr Sunak added: “I have given this job my all. But you have sent a clear message, and yours is the only judgement that matters. This is a difficult day, but I leave this job honoured to have been prime minister of the best country in the world.”

He arrived at Buckingham Palace at 11am to tender his resignation as prime minister to the King and hand over power to Sir Keir Starmer.

The moment marked the end of a torrid 20 months in Downing Street during which he failed to turn around the Tories’ political fortunes.

He inherited a hugely difficult legacy from Liz Truss, with inflation running high and public confidence rocked by the disastrous mini-budget.

But his time in office was also dogged by missteps and controversies, whilst his election campaign has been described as the worst in modern times.

In an exit address that was seen as one of his best speeches, Mr Sunak said: “To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry.

“I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the Government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters.”

Mr Sunak is set to stay in post as Tory leader for the next few weeks while the party licks its wounds and decides how to choose his successor.

Before that can be done a new chairman of the 1922 committee, which sets the rules for leadership contests, will have to be elected.

Sir Graham Brady, who has been in charge of the powerful backbench group since 2010, stood down as an MP at the election.

Senior party figures may also want to discuss how the race will be run and the role members will play in picking the leader.

Some MPs have suggested that the power of members should be diluted after they picked Ms Truss over Mr Sunak in the 2022 contest.

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Men ‘underrepresented’ in congregations, Church of England admits

The Church of England has admitted men are “underrepresented” in congregations as attendance at Sunday services remains below pre-pandemic levels.

In a question submitted to the General Synod, the Church’s legislative body, about what it was doing to encourage “evangelism” among men, a Church officer said men were under-represented in many parishes.

The Rev Will Pearson-Gee, of Buckingham Parish Church, asked the Synod: “What resources has the Church developed to help people think about and practise evangelism amongst men?”

A representative of the Archbishops’ Council responded: “Within the Church of England ,as we seek to be a Church which represents the communities we serve in age and diversity, we recognise that in many churches men are underrepresented in the congregation.

“The council encourages dioceses to consider this as they develop their mission plans for future funding.”

The spokesman added that the Church and surrounding organisations had developed resources to “help people think about and practise evangelism amongst men”.

The Church last estimated its male and female membership in 2014, when the ratio of women to men was thought to be 59:41 – about six women to every four men.

That is despite the gender balance among clergy weighing heavily in favour of men, with 2018 figures showing 30 per cent of the estimated 20,000 active clergy in the Church of England are female.

The number of male clergy is also in decline. Figures show that while the number of female clergy rose steadily from 5,310 in 2013 to a record high of 5,690 in 2016, the total for men declined by about 860 in this time.

Although average weekly attendance at Church of England services rose by almost 5 per cent in 2023 – the third year of consecutive growth – total attendance remains nearly 20 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, year-on-year attendance has decreased by 3 per cent on average over the past decade.

Telegraph analysis this year revealed that Sunday church attendance is 80 per cent of what it was in 2019 despite the Church of England claiming that it has “bounced back” after the pandemic.‌

In 2023, The Telegraph also published an investigation that revealed that parishes are closing at a record rate, prompting fears that the Church had been “dealt a death knell”.

Addressing the decline in Church of England male worshippers, the Rev Ian Paul, a member of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, said: “The Church of England is declining in attendance – though many churches in England are not, and are growing.

“One of the things that those growing churches do well is engage with men.

Rev Paul added: “Why don’t we do the work in this area – how to reach men, and in particular how to reach working-class men.”

It comes as the Bishop of Oxford accused Christians threatening to breakaway from the Church over a forthcoming vote on blessings for same-sex couples of “catastrophising” and causing “hurt” to LGBTQ Christians and their familes in a letter seen by the Telegraph.

Bishops have proposed that gay and lesbian couples could receive blessings from Anglican priests in standalone church services as part of a pilot, before a formal vote is held on whether the change should become permanent.

However, more than 25 Church leaders have written to leading Church of English bishops warning that such a change could amount to “unlawfulness” and have threatened to create a “parallel province”, a separate autonomous grouping within the Church.

In Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft’s response, he wrote: “A third province and a church within a church undercuts the very essence of Anglican ecclesiology and represents a red line we cannot cross.”

The Synod is sitting in York until Tuesday.

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The NHS is broken, says Streeting

The NHS is broken, the new Health Secretary has declared.

Wes Streeting made the analysis just an hour after being appointed, and said it was now the Department of Health’s official policy.

Mr Streeting also announced that he would start talks with the unions next week over ending the junior doctors’ strikes.

He said: “This Government will be honest about the challenges facing our country, and serious about tackling them. From today, the policy of this department is that the NHS is broken.

“That is the experience of patients who are not receiving the care they deserve, and of the staff working in the NHS who can see that – despite giving their best – this is not good enough.”

Labour has put NHS reform at the heart of its agenda. It has been a topic the party has struggled to tackle in the past, with many of its supporters ideologically resistant to any attempt to change the health service and considering the main problem it faces to be a lack of funds.

However, Mr Streeting’s words suggest that Sir Keir Starmer, the new Prime Minister, is keen to use the political capital of his landslide win to address the problems facing the NHS, which is still struggling with record waiting lists.

They also raise the possibility that Labour could replace Richard Meddings, the Tory-appointed NHS chairman, and even look at the position of Amanda Pritchard, the NHS chief executive.

In his first speech in the job, Mr Streeting acknowledged that the health service’s performance was “not good enough”. But he also warned that it could not be “fixed overnight” after going through “the biggest crisis in its history” following the Covid pandemic.

Junior doctors have been striking for more than a year in a dispute over pay, which has hampered efforts to cut record waiting lists.

The British Medical Association (BMA), the doctors’ union, has demanded a 35 per cent pay rise to make up for what it says are 15 years of below-inflation increases under the Tories.

Mr Streeting has already said that he will not agree to their demand, which he has described as unaffordable, but is prepared to negotiate. During the election campaign, Labour criticised the Tories for failing to meet the unions to end the dispute.

The BMA has been criticised after calling strikes during the election campaign, even though neither party was able to negotiate with it.

“When we said that patients are being failed on a daily basis, it wasn’t political rhetoric but the daily reality faced by millions,” said Mr Streeting. “Previous governments have not been willing to admit these simple facts. But in order to cure an illness, you must first diagnose it.

“We promised during the campaign that we would begin negotiations as a matter of urgency, and that is what we are doing. This Government has received a mandate from millions of voters for change and reform of the NHS so it can be there for us when we need it once again.”

Mr Streeting has repeatedly pledged to push through wide-ranging reforms to how the NHS works rather than just pouring more money into the system. His plan includes making maximum use of spare capacity in the private sector to clear the backlog, which has now reached 6.33 million patients.

He has also pledged to overhaul how the GP system works, introducing health hubs that will provide evening care and walk-in services at weekends.

The new Health Secretary has been blunt in his assessment of the care the service provides, saying he will not “pretend the NHS is the envy of the world”.

He referred to his own experience with the health service, saying: “When I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, the NHS saved my life. Today, I can begin to repay that debt by saving our NHS.”

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Migrants vow to cross from France ‘as soon as possible’ after Labour victory

Migrants in northern France celebrating Labour’s landslide victory have given Sir Keir Starmer a nickname and have vowed to cross the Channel at the “first chance” they get.

Speaking to The Telegraph, some of the migrants welcomed the new government and said they would risk crossing to the UK in small boats as soon as weather permitted.

Sir Keir had vowed to scrap the Rwanda deportation flights on “day one” if Labour reached power.

Most migrants in the Grand-Synthe camp, near Dunkirk, were unaware of the results on Friday morning, but were delighted when told that Rishi Sunak would no longer be Prime Minister.

Amir, 23, a bean-seller from Kurdistan, said migrants had given Sir Keir a nickname that roughly translates as a man who works for refugees or workers.

He said: “We are calling him ‘Party Krekaran’ because we have heard that this guy is really helpful to the refugees.”

Amir added that he would make the crossing “as soon as possible” now Sir Keir was in power, adding: “It’s really good for us. We were really nervous in our countries to travel all the way here and get sent back.

“We no longer live in fear of them sending us to Rwanda. I’ve seen a couple of documentaries, and Rwanda is not the best place.”

Asked whether the result would make it more likely for them to make the crossing, he added: “Yes of course. I want to cross the UK as soon as possible. I was really sure that Rishi Sunak was going to lose.

Halmat Ali, 31, from Iraq paid £3,900 to a smuggler to facilitate the crossing to Britain. He said: “I like Labour government. I will cross at first chance. They give me hope. I will cross on Sunday when [the] weather is better.”

Home Office figures showed that a record number of migrants crossed the Channel in the first six months of the year, despite the supposed deterrent of the Rwanda scheme.

Some 12,901 people have reached the UK this year – up 17 per cent on last year and up eight per cent on the previous record in 2022.

At the start of his premiership, Rishi Sunak said stopping the boats was one of his five priorities. Announcing his resignation as Tory leader on Friday, he said: “I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility”.

As the rain poured in Northern France, a 48-year-old migrant from Turkey said he was happy Mr Sunak had lost, adding: “I don’t want to go to Rwanda. I want to go to England. New government makes me happy. When weather is good, we try. It’s difficult.”

On hearing that Mr Sunak had lost, Nally Hussain 25, from Kurdistan said: “I can’t explain how I feel, it’s so good. We are not stopping for new government.”

As Britain went to the polls on Thursday, Biruk Siyume, 17, who arrived in the camp after travelling two and a half years from Ethiopia to escape persecution for his Christian faith, said he would be “the first” to make the crossing to Britain if the Rwanda plan was scrapped.

He said: “It’s better [a new government]. I hope the Labour Party win. I’m excited about a new government. The first important point for me is the cancelling of [the] Rwanda plan.

He suggested “many people” would make the crossing on the day Sir Keir Starmer was elected but admitted that it would depend on the weather.

One volunteer from a major aid organisation visiting the camp said that he was not confident that a Labour government would impact migrants’ motivation to cross.

He said: “I’m not sure it will change anything about people’s ideas about crossing. We have to understand why they cross – it’s because they cannot get asylum in France. I don’t think they care about the elections. The conditions are much better in the UK than Europe for asylum seekers.”

Eve Marie Dubiez, 80, a volunteer for the organisation Amis, said: “They don’t see the nuances, because the structures and the government are still working for a while. Over time, when they have news from people being treated, then they will [go].”

Labour has promised to launch a new border security command to tackle the gangs behind the people smuggling, granting it new powers under counter-terrorism rules.

Writing for The Telegraph last month, Yvette Cooper, then the shadow home secretary, said new security partnerships with other European police forces would “stop the boats reaching the French coast in the first place and get smugglers behind bars”.

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England fans in Germany claim they will ‘drink more pints than Tories have seats’

England fans in Germany have been enjoying the escape from the general election by trying to drink more pints than the number of seats the Conservatives have remaining.

As 50,000 descended on Dusseldorf before the Three Lions’ quarter-final clash with Switzerland, fans on tour in Germany were glad to be missing the tedium of the election at home.

On Friday, on Dusseldorf’s Rheinuferpromenade of bars on the river, few were interested in the change of government back home, which left the Conservatives with fewer than 125 seats.

“It’s 100 per cent better here than watching the election,” said Elliot Fribbens, 28, a carpenter from Portsmouth, as he enjoyed another local beer with Matt Rees, 28.

“That’s as long as we win. We didn’t watch it last night, we do know the result.

“Hopefully [Gareth] Southgate won’t be following [Rishi] Sunak out the door, and we will somehow be bringing it home. I’m so glad I wasn’t in England yesterday, I couldn’t care less.

“People at home were watching the election at 3am and we were just getting in. I think between us we probably will get through more pints than the Tories have seats.”

In the next bar, fans were equally disinterested in Labour knocking the Conservatives out of power.

“What election?” asked Carl Stevenson, 45, an insurance broker from Blackpool. “Maybe it will be, if we don’t play [well] tomorrow it will be Sunak out, Southgate out.

“Tomorrow, we will win on penalties, so it might be a bit closer than yesterday. We got the ferry over and I don’t remember the rest of the day. We went for a couple and then it was 36 pints. That was an early night.”

In the city centre, where thousands of England fans were beginning to gather, George Rawkins, 22, from London, dressed in full England kit, said that he was glad to be in Germany as he and friends began a bar crawl around town.

“It’s a bit of a relief to be here, it’s a lot more fun here. There is a strong chance we will have more than 121 pints over the weekend.

“We’ll have a round that would beat the Reform done in the next 10 minutes. We were praying England would get here, we were nearly watching Slovakia against Switzerland.”

While most of the fans mingling with the English in Dusseldorf yesterday were Germans supporting their side against Spain, locals further afield have revealed that they “fell in love” with the England team while growing up under communism.

Reinhard Lisker, 66, who recently watched Southgate’s men train at a stadium in Jena, said he was supporting England.

“As a boy I supported teams which played against West Germany. So I became an England fan the day they won the World Cup in 1966 and have never looked back.”

He added:  “I’m proud to wear my England shirt today alongside my family who all support Gareth Southgate’s team, and it’s a thrill to see them in my hometown.”

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The Daily T: Labour in power and Iain Duncan Smith on Farage

It’s official: we have a new prime minister. When Sir Keir Starmer spoke on the steps of No 10 Downing Street he became just the seventh ever Labour politician to lead the country – but the challenges he is facing are vast. 

Kamal and Camilla take a look at the issues at the top of his in-tray, from a sluggish economy to immigration concerns. Plus with a low vote share and a historic number of seats won by the Lib Dems, Reform, the Greens and independent pro-Palestine candidates, they ask whether Labour can really be the “government of service” Starmer wants them to be?

Plus, Iain Duncan Smith joins Kamal and Camilla in the studio to discuss how he held on to his London seat and what next for the Tories as they reel from one of their worst electoral losses ever. 

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