What happens today now Rishi Sunak has conceded defeat to Labour in the General Election?


Rishi Sunak has phoned Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on winning a historic general election landslide, with the Tories on course for their worst defeat in history.

The prime minister, having flown down from Yorkshire in the early hours of Friday morning, will have to vacate Downing Street to let Sir Keir Starmer move in and get to work.

As the final ballots across the country are counted, The Independent runs you through what happens on Friday as power changes hands.

Downing Street departures

On Friday morning, Mr Sunak and his family will pack up in preparation to take their belongings from 10 Downing Street back to their house in west London.

Rishi Sunak arrived at Conservative Party headquarters on Friday morning (REUTERS)
Rishi Sunak arrived at Conservative Party headquarters on Friday morning (REUTERS)

As the removal team get to work, the prime minister will give a brief resignation speech at around 10.40am outside Downing Street, in the same spot the soaked Mr Sunak called the snap election just over six weeks ago.

Mr Sunak will then be driven to Buckingham Palace to see the King and officially hand in his resignation.

The outgoing chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will also have to move out of his grace and favour home at 11 Downing Street.

Sir Keir Starmer’s arrival

When Mr Sunak has held his audience with Charles III, Sir Keir will go to see him next and officially be appointed prime minister.

The Labour leader will then be driven to Downing Street, where he said he will live with his family now he has won the election.

He will also have a removal van in action, primed to bring his own belongings from his north London townhouse to No10.

He will give a speech in front of the infamous black door at around 12.25pm, setting out his agenda for government.

Appointing the cabinet

Key roles in Sir Keir’s government appear nailed on, and ministers in the Department of Health, Home Office, Department of Education and others will likely be officially appointed by the end of the day, with announcements expected as early as 2.00pm.

They will be welcomed to their respective departments by cheering civil servants and Sir Keir has made it clear they are expected to immediately get to work.

With two frontbenchers - shadow culture secretary Thangam Debbonaire and shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth -having lost their seats, Sir Keir will have to decide who will make up the rest of his ministerial team.

The key roles are expected to be announced by 5.00pm on Saturday - so as not to clash with the kick-off of England’s quarter final Euros match against Switzerland.

Smaller roles will be announced on Sunday, with the government ready to get up and running by Monday.

Forming the opposition

Mr Sunak will almost certainly announce his resignation as leader of the Conservartive party, or face a leadership challenge if he does not.

He will likely stay in place to steady the ship while a successor is chosen, remaining leader of the opposition until then.

Several of Mr Sunak’s potential successors lost their seats, but hopefuls including Suella Braverman, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat held on.

The leadership contest will be a battle for the soul of the Conservative Party, with figures such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, who lost his seat, calling for the party to shift rightwards, while moderates including Sir Robert Buckland, who also lost his seat, warning against a lurch to the right.