What have some MENA outlets said about Keir Starmer's Labour Party winning the UK elections?

What have some MENA outlets said about Keir Starmer's Labour Party winning the UK elections?
Labour is back in power and the world is waiting to see what Keir Starmer's next steps are after he forms his government.
3 min read
05 July, 2024
Labour made a landslide victory in the historic elections [Getty]

Much of the world’s focus shifted to the UK on Thursday following historic elections which have brought the Labour party back to power after nearly a decade and a half of Conservatives rule.

Across the Arab world, many will be interested to see where the new British government will stand on pressing issues such as Israel’s war on Gaza and other urgent matters across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The New Arab takes a look at what some media outlets in the region have said about Labour’s win and the incoming prime minister, Keir Starmer.

Al Jazeera

The Doha-based broadcaster highlighted the Tory party’s massive loss.

"This has not so much been an election that has been won by Labour as it has been lost by Conservatives," Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reported in the English edition.

Another opinion piece was titled: "At least it’s not the Tories," speaking to voters who said they were fed up with 14 years of political chaos.

"Experts are saying voter turnout could be the lowest in more than 20 years – a sign that many have given up on the political system," Anealla Safdar wrote.

"The economy is struggling, the National Health Service is overwhelmed and the scandal-hit Conservatives have dampened trust in politicians."

Al Jazeera Arabic TV also spoke to British journalist Peter Oborne about Starmer’s internal and foreign priorities.

The National

The UAE's English-language daily reported on ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn retaining his seat in a north London constituency.

"Even before Jeremy Corbyn was declared the winner of the seat he has held for more than 40 years, his supporters were in a boisterous mood," wrote The National.

"After laughter, came chants of "Free Palestine" as the former Labour leader began to speak. His voice betrayed the emotion he felt at being returned to Parliament as an independent, after previously representing the area for Labour."

Corbyn has long been openly vocal about his support for the Palestinians.

The National also reported that Starmer is set to hold a closed-door meeting with intelligence chiefs on the security threats facing the UK, "one that could define Labour’s return to government."

"The Middle East will play a significant role in that closed meeting, analysts and diplomats have told The National, with both opportunities and threats at the table, including the growing fears of war between Hezbollah and Israel," Thomas Harding wrote.

Arab News

The Saudi English-language daily featured a piece on Starmer facing a loss in one constituency and being heckled by pro-Palestinian supporters.

"Labour leader Keir Starmer faced heckles of "free Palestine"as independent candidates took a number of seats from his party during the UK general election over anger at its stance on Gaza."

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de-facto ruler, congratulated Starmer on his appointment as prime minister on Friday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.


Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is closely aligned to the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group, said Britian will waste another five years on what it called "Starmerism… given the party’s program is devoid of any radical changes in the existing conditions."

It said the UK faced major challenges, including its relations with the EU and the return of Donald Trump to the White House this year.

Sky News Arabia

The Abu Dhabi-based Arabic edition to Sky News also asked how Starmer will deal with the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, "the world’s two biggest crises."

"At a crucial turning point in British history, after years of Conservative rule, the world is awaiting the policy of the Labour Party’s new era and how, led by its leader the new Prime Minister Kim Starmer, will deal with major foreign issues, especially the Ukrainian war and the Gaza war," it said.