Insight News Diary

General election: key dates in Starmer’s first six months


As Keir Starmer takes office as the UK’s newest prime minister, we’re looking ahead to the key dates for the first months of his premiership. 

While Starmer will need to spend his first days in charge getting his Cabinet and legislative agenda in place, he’ll also have an early opportunity to show that Britain is ‘back’ on the global stage, as he attends the NATO Summit in Washington and hosts European Political Community during his first fortnight in office. 

There will also be some chances to signal Labour’s intentions on domestic policies that have garnered attention in recent months, as the government faces an ICC response deadline related to the Gaza war and court challenges against the previous government’s policies on puberty blockers and climate change.  

  • July 5: Rishi Sunak will make a farewell statement at Downing Street around 10:30am, in which he’s also expected to announce he’s stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party, before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation. We’ll get details in the days ahead on the timeline for a Conservative leadership race.
  • Keir Starmer will also make a trip to the palace for an audience with the King, where he will be formally asked to form the next government. He’s then expected to deliver remarks outside Number 10 around 12:20pm and get on with the business of appointing his Cabinet.
Keir Starmer speaks to Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The Labour Party / Flickr
  • July 9-11: NATO Summit in Washington. Starmer makes his first appearance on the international stage, giving him an opportunity for early bilateral meetings with allies including US President Joe Biden, and a chance to set the tone for a more internationalist government than his predecessor, who often stayed closer to home.
  • Also July 9: Parliament returns to elect new Speaker of the House of Commons and begin swearing in MPs.
  • July 12: High Court hears challenge to the government’s ban on puberty blockers for young people. An opportunity for early indications of policy direction on a very contentious topic Labour has struggled to present a united front on, though Wes Streeting has previously said the party will look to implement the recommendations of the Cass review.
  • July 17: State Opening of Parliament. King Charles formally opens the new Parliamentary session and previews the government’s forthcoming legislation.
  • July 18: Starmer hosts European leaders for the fourth European Political Community summit, the first major UK-hosted event since the election. May prove an early indicator of Starmer’s plans for relations with Europe.
  • Also July 18: COVID-19 inquiry publishes Module 1 report on preparedness and resilience, looking at lockdown restrictions, the impact on mental health and education, and collaboration between central and devolved governments.
  • July 22-26: Farnborough International Air Show. Traditionally features speeches from a number of cabinet ministers focused on defence and transport.
  • July 23-24: High Court hears legal challenge to the government’s third National Adaptation Programme. The Climate Chance Committee said the NAP3 falls short of what’s needed and called for an urgent refresh in the new Parliament. Will we get some early signs of Labour’s green policies as they respond to this hearing?
  • July 24: Starmer’s first PMQs.
Keir Starmer speaks at the despatch box in the House of Commons
House of Commons / Flickr
  • July 26: Deadline for the UK to file observations as part of its decision to question the ICC’s jurisdiction to issue arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. May come as an early sign of how Starmer plans to approach the Gaza conflict, which has been a source of fierce infighting in the Labour Party.
  • July 30: Commons rises for summer recess.
  • August 1: Bank of England makes first post-election interest rate decision amid speculation we could see the first rate cut this year.
  • August 15: Q2 GDP figures published.
  • August 22: First quarterly migration figures released since the election.
  • September 1: New free childcare provision due to come into effect. Labour has committed to continuing with the Conservatives’ plan for childcare, but the rollout has been plagued with concern over funding and the number of new places required.
  • September 2: Commons expected to return from summer recess.
  • September 14-17: Lib Dems autumn conference, where a buoyant party will decide how to take advantage of being the largest third party in Parliament for 100 years.
  • September 19: Bank of England interest rate decision.
  • September 22-25: Labour Party autumn conference, featuring a leader’s speech from the prime minister.
  • September 24: UN General Assembly general debate opens. Rishi Sunak didn’t go, becoming the first UK leader in a decade to skip it – will Starmer take another opportunity to appear on the world stage?
  • September 29-October 2: Conservative Party conference: potentially the most important Tory gathering in recent memory, with a new leader likely to want to be in place by now to start the rebuilding process. Alternatively, a handover moment for Rishi Sunak if he remains leader in transition.
Rishi Sunak stands at a podium in the rain outside Downing Street
Edward Massey / CCHQ
  • Autumn: Budget. New Chancellor Rachel Reeves has confirmed she will ask the OBR for a forecast and confirm a Budget date before summer recess.
  • October 13: 100 days since government was formed. Traditionally a benchmark to look at what’s been done. Labour has already committed to establishing its taxpayer-owned GB Energy project and holding an international investment summit within its first 100 days in power, but it’s also likely to focus on planning reform, public sector pay and border security – though all with an eye on a looming departmental spending review, which is likely to follow the Budget this autumn.
  • October 21: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa as Labour looks to prioritise resetting relationships with the Global South.
  • October 31: New EU border control measures come into effect.
  • November 5: US presidential election. Who will Starmer be working with for the next four years? Setting the tone for UK-US relations and how friendly the relationship might be.
  • November 7: European Political Community meets again, this time in Hungary.
  • Also November 7: Bank of England interest rate decision.
  • November 11: Keynote speech on foreign policy at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet.
  • November 11-22: UNFCCC COP29. Previous Conservative governments were criticised for how they engaged with international climate diplomacy, and climate change is another area where Labour have pledged to ‘reset’ policy and relationships.
  • November 14: Q3 GDP figures published, covering the first three months of Starmer’s premiership.
  • November 18-19: G20 Summit in Brazil.
  • November 28: Quarterly migration figures released.
  • December 19: Final Bank of England interest rate decision of the year.

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