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Music industry reacts to Labour win: ‘A resounding mandate for change’

UK Music and The BPI are among those to have sent their early congratulations to new Prime Minister Keir Starmer.

By Nick Reilly

Labour Leader Keir Starmer celebrates winning the 2024 General Election with a speech at Tate Modern on July 05, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Ricky Vigil/Getty Images)

The UK music industry has called on Keir Starmer to use his “resounding mandate for change” after the Labour leader stormed to victory in the UK’s general election.

Starmer, who will today become the next Prime Minister, told voters at London’s Tate Modern in a victory speech: “You campaigned for it, you fought for it, and now it has arrived. Change begins now.”

At the time of writing, Labour has won 411 seats – giving them a massive majority victory of 292 seats against the Conservative Party.

Conceding defeat in a speech from his constituency in North Yorkshire, Rishi Sunak said: “The Labour party has won this general election. I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. Today, power will change in a peaceful and orderly manner with goodwill on all sides. That is something that should give us all confidence in our country’s stability and future.

“The British people have issued a sobering verdict tonight. There is much to learn and reflect on. And I take responsibility for the loss. To the many good, hardworking Conservative candidates who lost tonight, despite their tireless efforts, their local records of delivery and their dedication to their communities, I am sorry.”

Now, as the UK wakes up to the news of change, the music industry has begun to react. UK Music – which represents the collective interests of the music industry – has called on Starmer to use his resounding “mandate for change”.

In a statement, CEO Tom Kiehl said: “UK Music sends its congratulations to Sir Keir Starmer and his team on their election victory, which gives his new Government a resounding mandate for change.  

 “The incoming Labour Government has been elected on a platform to implement a plan for the creative sector as part of its industrial strategy. The potential of the UK music industry to contribute to growth must be at the heart of this plan.  The music industry is facing a number of challenges, but also opportunities. A strong relationship between UK Music and the new Government will be essential to navigating what the rest of this decade brings.”

He added: “As a teenager who played the flute, piano, recorder and violin – as well as attending the Guildhall School of Music, Sir Keir is without doubt a music-loving PM.   He has an immense passion for music. It is in his DNA. He fully understands the joys music can bring and, just as importantly, the huge challenges our sector faces.  We share his passion and the music industry is keen to continue working with him to ensure everyone can benefit from the important life skills that learning a music instrument with the help of brilliant teachers can bring – as Keir himself has acknowledged. 

 “We have lost 1,000 music teachers from our secondary schools since 2012. That poses a huge risk to the talent pipeline on which our sector relies and deprives thousands of young people of an enjoyable and rewarding career.  We will work with the members of the new Government – which has promised to recruit 6,500 new teachers – and strive to reverse that damaging decline.  

“As the collective voice of the music industry, UK Music already has strong links with Sir Keir’s top team. Our plan is to continue to build on those relationships and work across the political spectrum, including the many newly elected MPs, to deliver real change and further growth for our world-leading sector.” 

A similar statement also came from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). “Congratulations to the new Labour Government – we look forward to working together to promote our world-leading music industry,” said CEO Jo Twist.

“In line with priorities set out during the campaign, we share ambitions to enable human creativity to flourish, underpinned by a strong intellectual property framework and commitments to support creative education. These statements align closely  with the five priorities we set out earlier this year and It is only through constructive engagement with industry that the Government will deliver on these pledges to the benefit of our collective creative industries.”

Elsewhere in last night’s election, the Conservatives lost all their seats in Wales, former PM Liz Truss lost her seat in South West Norfolk to Labour by 630 votes, and Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister tipped to lead the Tory party in the future, held her seat in North West Essex.

Other notable Tories who lost their seats included Penny Mordaunt and Jacob Rees-Mogg.