Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer started appointing his Cabinet yesterday afternoon following Labour’s landslide victory in the election.

Rachel Reeves became the first woman to hold the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, while the party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner became Deputy Prime Minister taking in the levelling up, housing and communities brief.

(Image: PA)

READ MORE: Sir Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister after Labour landslide

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray was made Secretary of State for Scotland, a role he has twice shadowed on the opposition benches.

He said it was a “real privilege to have been asked to serve in Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s first Cabinet.”

“My absolute priority in the role will be to deliver the change and renewal that Scotland needs – to drive economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty.”

Mr Murray said there would be new funding to “help tackle poverty in Scotland by creating jobs and unlocking opportunities across the country, especially in our most deprived communities.

“The Scotland Office will lead on promoting ‘Brand Scotland’ around the globe. Selling our world-class produce, products and services to the world.

“I am also determined to reset the relationship between the UK and Scottish Governments. Focusing on co-operation and joint working will mean we can deliver better results for people in Scotland.”

In other appointments, David Lammy was made Foreign Secretary.

There had been some speculation the post could go to new Lothian East MP, Douglas Alexander.

Pat McFadden was named Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, John Healey became Defence Secretary, Wes Streeting was named Health Secretary, and Ed Miliband became Energy Secretary.

READ MORE: Mark Smith: Deep down, this result is good news for the SNP

In his first speech as Prime Minister, Sir Keir said the British people had voted “decisively for change”.

He said: “Now our country has voted decisively for change, for national renewal and a return of politics to public service.

“When the gap between the sacrifices made by people and the service they receive from politicians grows this big, it leads to a weariness in the heart of a nation, a draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future.

“But we need to move forward together. Now this wound, this lack of trust can only be healed by actions not words, I know that.

“But we can make a start today with the simple acknowledgement that public service is a privilege and that your government should treat every single person in this country with respect.”

He said “my Government will serve you, politics can be a force for good”, adding: “The work of change begins immediately, but have no doubt, we will rebuild Britain.”

Sir Keir said: “Changing a country is not like flicking a switch. The world is now a more volatile place. This will take a while.”

With all but one seat declared - a recount in Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire will take place at 10.30am today - Labour has 412 MPs.

The Tories are on 121, the worst result in their history. The Lib Dems are on 72, while Reform is on five and the Greens on four.

READ MORE: Defeated Falkirk SNP candidate blames Swinney for election loss

In Scotland, the SNP won just nine MPs, a significant drop on the 48 returned at the 2019 general election.

In a speech on Friday morning, John Swinney accepted that the party had “failed to convince people of the urgency of independence in this election campaign.”

“Therefore, we need to take the time to consider and to reflect on how we deliver our commitment to independence – which remains absolute,” he added.

Mr Swinney said he would remain leader of the SNP, but said there was work to be done to "heal" the party's relationship with voters. 

Mr Swinney said: “The first thing I want to do is congratulate Sir Keir Starmer on his emphatic election victory.

“It goes without saying that last night was an incredibly tough night for the Scottish National Party and I’m very sorry to lose so many able MPs and so may staff who have worked so well to support them.

“The SNP needs to be healed and to heal its relationship with the people of Scotland, and I’m committed to doing exactly that.”

He said he took “full responsibility” for the results, and vowed to “reflect on last night’s setback”.

(Image: PA)

The loss of seats saw substantial swings from the SNP to Labour in several constituencies, as well as defeat for high-profile former MPs including Joanna Cherry KC.

She told Forth 1 News: “I think our vote got squeezed on two sides, on one side those of our supporters who passionately believe in the cause of Scottish independence feel like we have not done enough.

“And I think they are right about that.

“History will show that major opportunities were squandered by Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford during the Brexit years and during the Boris years.”

Meanwhile, speaking to journalists in Glasgow, Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar said the party had come a long way in five years.

“If you look at the last general election, I remember being at the count, I remember the feeling on that night.

“I remember the devastation that I felt, that the party felt and many people in across Scotland felt when they saw the Tories reelected and labour do so badly.

“That was our worst result since 1910.

“We came fourth actually, only got one Scottish Labour MP.

“And then three years ago when I took on the leadership, we were 32 points behind the SNP.

“People were talking about our survival, and three years on to have gone from that position, to not just win the election in Scotland, not just be the largest party in Scotland, but to win such a convincing majority in Scotland is of course absolutely incredible”.

Earlier in the day, in his final speech as Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak apologised to the UK and announced he would quit as Tory leader.

“To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry,” he said.

“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 judgment that matters.

“I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

His decision to step down, while not unexpected, will trigger a leadership contest that could be divisive for the party.

Mr Sunak is reportedly set to stay in place as a caretaker party leader until early September or potentially later into the autumn if needed.

Potential contenders have already started organising campaigns.

Names being connected to the top job include former home secretaries, James Cleverly, and Priti Patel and the former business secretary, Kemi Badenoch.

Penny Mordaunt, the former Commons leader, and Grant Shapps, the former defence secretary, were both expected to run, but both lost their seats.

The election was brutal for the Tories.

Twelve ministers were defeated. So too was former prime minister Liz Truss, despite defending a notional majority of more than 24,000.

What will make life even more difficult for them in the rise of Reform UK. Nigel Farage won a Commons seat at his eighth time of asking.

His party received more than four million votes, around 600,000 more than the Lib Dems. The first-past-the-post system means they won just five seats.