Prayers for new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer after Labour landslide

Prayers are being said for the next government and the UK's new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer after Labour's landslide victory in Thursday's general elections. 

The voting map turned red as Labour won seat after seat in a punishing night for the Conservatives after 14 years in powers.

The Lib Dems, Reform UK and the Greens also made gains, and Nigel Farage was celebrating after becoming an MP for the first time with his win in Clacton.

Outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak won his seat at Richmond and Northallerton but many Tory bigwigs were among the casualties, including Penny Mordaunt, Grant Shapps, Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

Speaking after Labour's victory, Sir Keir said, "We did it. Change begins now."

A number of Christian MPs have lost their seats in the Tory wipeout, including Miriam Cates who was an outspoken advocate for pro-life and traditional Christian values, Nick Fletcher in South Yorkshire, former Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, Fiona Bruce, and Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous.

It was also a disastrous night for the SNP in Scotland after the party managed to hold onto only 10 seats as Scottish Labour swept to its first victory in a national election in the country for 14 years.

The Tories held onto South West Devon but its former incumbent and Chair of Christians in Parliament, Sir Gary Streeter, has retired after more than 30 years in politics.

Commenting on Labour's win, Gavin Calver, CEO of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "I am praying for Sir Keir Starmer and his incoming government following the Labour Party's success in the general election. The scale of the victory represents a significant change for UK politics but also comes with a significant burden of responsibility.

"I'm praying the words of Psalm 72 that, God will give him wisdom and a heart for justice, that he will stand up for the poor and for children in need.

"The Evangelical Alliance is committed to working with the government on restoring hope in our society, strengthening social cohesion and honouring the dignity and value of every human being. Our faith is a vital component of what makes a difference and helps transform lives across the UK." 

He urged the new prime minister to appoint a Special Envoy for International Freedom of Religion or Belief "as soon as possible", and encouraged the next government to "meet with evangelical churches and national organisations to understand the vast contribution we are already making every day for those in greatest need". 

"There will be points in the years ahead where we will disagree with the government's direction and will challenge policies and decisions," he said.

"Any moves that disempower and harm the most vulnerable in society will be met with a robust response from the evangelical Christians across the UK. Our heart is always to serve and advocate for those most in need and we urge the government to do the same."

Ross Hendry, CEO of Christian charity CARE, called on the next UK government to model justice, integrity, and compassion.

"We congratulate all those who have been elected today, and Keir Starmer as he prepares to lead a new Government. CARE encouraged churches to engage positively during the election period and Christians will continue to pray for and encourage MPs," he said.

"As someone who has run for parliament in the past, I'm conscious that thousands of candidates did not hear the news they wanted today. Some people are now out of a job. Losing candidates deserve our thanks and respect for taking part."

He continued, "Christians believe that Governments are ordained by God to restrain evil and injustice and promote good by commending those who do right. A good Government will show justice and mercy, model integrity, and have compassion on the most vulnerable people in society.

"We believe there is a better story to tell for all people and especially the vulnerable groups we advocate for, and we will be engaging with politicians of every party who share our desire to realise positive change. We hope to see politics renewed and lives transformed in the years ahead."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he was praying for Sir Keir as he enters 10 Downing Street. 

"My warmest congratulations to our new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, and my prayers for you and your family as you take on this role of great responsibility for our country," he said.

"I thank Rishi Sunak and the outgoing Government for their service. I also give thanks today for our democracy, and for the peaceful and orderly transition of power it gives us.

"I pray for our new government entering office; for its members to have humility, wisdom and integrity as they begin their new roles."