'I Am Sorry': Rishi Sunak Apologises To Former Tory MPs Who Lost Their Seats In Labour Landslide

The former prime minister had to get used to sitting on the opposition benches for the first time.
Rishi Sunak addresses parliament for the first time as leader of the opposition.
Rishi Sunak addresses parliament for the first time as leader of the opposition.

Rishi Sunak has apologised to the hundreds of former Tory MPs who lost their seats in last week’s Labour landslide.

The former prime minister said “I am sorry” as he addressed the Commons for the first time as leader of the opposition.

Parliament returned just four days after Labour won a 174-seat majority as the Conservatives lost two-thirds of their MPs.

Keir Starmer, in his first Commons speech as prime minister, had earlier said it was time to “replace the politics of performance with a politics of service”.

Flanked by the 120 fellow Tory MPs who survived last week’s electoral massacre, Sunak said: “For those of us in my party, let me begin with a message for those who are no longer sitting behind me: I am sorry.

“We have lost too many diligent, community-spirited representatives whose wisdom and expertise will be missed in the debates the discussions ahead.

“It is important after 14 years in government that the Conservative Party rebuilds. So now we will take up the crucial role of His Majesty’s official opposition professionally, effectively and humbly.

“And restoring trust begins my remembering that being here is an opportunity to do what those we serve expect of us, and in our case that means holding the new government to account.”

For the first time in 14 years, Labour’s MPs are sitting on the government benches, even though there is not enough room for all 411 of them.

Speaking after Lindsay Hoyle was re-elected as Commons Speaker, Starmer said: “The need to restore trust should weigh heavily on every member here, new and returning alike. We all have a duty to show that politics can be a force for good.

“So whatever our political difference, it is now time to turn the page, unite in a common endeavour of national renewal, and make this new parliament a parliament of service.”


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