Friday, July 19, 2024

UK Labour Promises Synergy Between Government and King

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King Charles III displayed little sympathy towards Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss during their meeting in October 2022, remarking, “Back again? Dear oh dear. Anyway.”

This meeting occurred shortly before Truss resigned, just seven weeks into her term, following her radical tax-cutting proposals that unsettled the financial markets.

Truss was succeeded by Rishi Sunak, who resigned on Friday after the Conservative Party suffered a resounding defeat in the general election.

Keir Starmer, the 61-year-old leader of the Labour Party, is now set to become the third prime minister within two years.

He was tasked by King Charles with forming a new government during a meeting at Buckingham Palace.

As a constitutional monarch, King Charles III remains publicly apolitical and does not vote. His stance became evident when Truss objected to his plans to attend the 2022 COP 27 climate summit in Egypt, prompting Charles—a longtime environmental advocate—to stay away.

Experts suggest that Charles may share some ideological alignment with Starmer, a former anti-monarchist, and might welcome his tenure, hoping for restored political stability. Professor Ed Owens, a monarchy specialist, remarked, “We know a lot about King Charles III because he expressed so many opinions when he was Prince of Wales before he became king. I think we can therefore anticipate a greater synergy between the king and his new prime minister.”

Owens noted that Charles has historically voiced concerns about key social issues, including poverty, the food crisis in the UK, homelessness, and youth education and opportunities.

He added that Starmer, with whom the monarch will have a private weekly meeting, shares a significant interest in these areas, suggesting a closer alignment between them.

While Labour has moderated its green investment plans—a key issue for Charles—it aims to decarbonize the electric grid by 2030.

The monarchy hopes Starmer’s leadership will usher in a period of political stability, following five Conservative prime ministers over the past 14 years.

Past interactions between the monarchy and Conservative leaders have occasionally been tense. In August 2019, Boris Johnson placed the monarchy in a difficult position by requesting Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue parliament to advance his Brexit deal, a move later deemed illegal by the Supreme Court, causing royal embarrassment.

Additionally, before Queen Elizabeth’s passing, Charles privately criticized Johnson’s plan to deport failed asylum seekers to Rwanda as “appalling,” leading to a strained relationship with Johnson.

Starmer has already indicated he will abandon the controversial Rwanda policy. The monarchy expects that under Starmer, the Labour Party will be more respectful of political processes and the constitution.

Starmer was knighted by Charles in 2014 for his service as the country’s top prosecutor, underscoring their mutual respect.

Owens concluded that the monarchy tends to favor governments that promote stability and national unity.

He noted that Queen Elizabeth was not a strong supporter of Margaret Thatcher due to her radical agenda, which was seen as potentially destabilizing. “When the country is stable, when the country is unified… the monarchy is in a more secure position,” Owens added.

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