The election result brought about wholesale change for British politics. Let’s learn what this scale of change means for policymaking, collaboration with evangelical Christians and intergovernmental relations between Westminster, Holyrood, the Senedd and Stormont.

This election is about change”, is the opening sentence in Labour’s 136-page manifesto and serves as a perfect summary of what’s to come when parliament resumes following the state opening of parliament and the King’s speech on Wednesday, 17 July.

By early morning on the Friday, 5 July, the polls confirmed the end of a 14-year Conservative-led government and ushered in a Labour government with a 172-seat majority. By early late afternoon, the nation had a new prime minister, new cabinet and a significant number of new MPs joining parliament for the first time.

During the election campaign senior Labour politicians kept urging the electorate to vote Labour because that was the only viable option for change. Keir Starmer’s vision and offer to the electorate as set out in the introductory section of the manifesto was for his party to lead in a way where service, rather than self-interest, would determine their style of governance. He pledged that under a Labour-led government it would work to restore hope”, rebuild the country” and stop the chaos” that had taken place under a Conservative government.


Trust’ is a central theme throughout Labour’s manifesto and since becoming the prime minister, has strongly been echoed in all media appearances. In our Thinking faithfully about politics research report we found 9% of the general public and 12% of evangelicals would agree with the statement I trust politicians’. The Evangelical Alliance are committed to advocating for Christian values as the new government its established and operates and will specifically engage concerning proposals to the introduction of a new Ethics and Integrity Commission. Restoring trust in politics is vital and we are encouraged by this is a policy commitment and priority in Labour’s manifesto.

"If you voted Labour, we will carry the responsibility of your trust as we rebuild our country. But whether you voted Labour or not – in fact, especially if you did not – I say to you directly: my government will serve you"
Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer
Prime Minister

Good governance leads to good policymaking

Psalm 72 is a beautiful psalm that the church can be praying for our leaders, political institutions and government at this time. 

In it, the psalm sets out the values that underpin good governance – justice, righteousness, fairness and sound judgement, but it also re-establishes relationships between those who lead and those who are governed. 

The priorities of leadership should be towards the poor, ensuring they are treated well, and find refuge and legal protection (verses 1 – 4, 12). Biblically, we are taught good governance is the outworking of strong relationship between the political elite and those socio-economically different from them. When there is trust, society flourishes and peace is realised. When trust is fractured then inequalities, violence and suffering follow.

In recent years, the gap between the wealthy and the poor across the country has widened significantly. In addition, the gap in understanding and empathy between the political elite and those disfranchised and struggling financially has also worsened. The Partygate scandal was both a public outcry and a visual illustration of the deteriorating relationship between politicians and the public. It is in our interests that public confidence in politicians significantly improves, without it we will continue to see policies and laws that deepen inequalities apparent across society.

Labour’s proposals to create a new and independent Ethics and Independent Commission, whilst not a glamorous proposal, is a vital one for democracy. You can read in full from page 107 of the manifesto.

At a glance, the proposals seek to create an independent chair responsible for restricting government ministers lobbying for companies, introducing new sanctions where rules are broken and giving them powers to conduct independent investigations. 

If the government implement this, and demonstrate good governance, they can focus their attention on fulfilling their manifesto commitments of; reducing child poverty (page 79), investing in early learning and child-care (page 79 – 83), providing an extra 2 million on NHS operations, scans and appointments (page 95), addressing poor dental care for children under 5s (page 99) and tackling health inequalities across the country and across diaspora communities. This could move the needle from political rhetoric to reality for millions across Britain. Good policymaking is a byproduct of strong relationships between those who govern and the governed. 

Labour’s promise to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Another historic moment from last week’s election is that for the first time in over 20 years, there is a Labour majority in Scotland, Wales and England. The prime minister in his own words described this as a clear mandate to govern for all four corners of the United Kingdom”.

By the time you read this, the prime minister would have completed his UK tour to meet with the first ministers in each of the three nations along with the metro mayors across England, but in Labour’s manifesto, they set out specific commitments to the nations which are as follows:


A commitment to strengthening Scottish devolution by working closely with Holyrood as Labour outworks its five missions, supporting the Scottish government to collaborate with international bodies on the global health initiatives and jointly working on the rules on how the Scottish Government tax and provide social security.


A commitment to close working on fiscal responsibility for the people and nation of Wales, there is also the promise of further devolution of youth justice and employment support funding for the Senedd.

Northern Ireland

The Labour party have pledged to repeal and replace The Legacy Act with the intention of returning to the principles of the Stormont House Agreement’. There is a commitment and intention that a Labour government will champion Northern Ireland internationally with an intention to encourage more businesses to invest in Northern Ireland’.

Four policy areas where partnership between the government and the evangelical constituency will be tested

So far in the political discourse, the language of change has become synonymous with the ideals of hope, optimism and renewal, and in part this can be attributed to successful PR messaging from the Labour Party. 

However, as evangelicals it is important to not get caught up in the high emotion of election results — whether these were what we wanted or not — but to discern with godly wisdom and scrutinise where the government’s agenda might restrict the church’s ability to serve local communities and practice religious freedom. Specifically, we are still concerned around the lack of details potential consequences of the:

  1. Faith minister and whether this position has a significant role in shaping across government policy agenda
  2. Trans-inclusive conversion therapy ban and the negative impact on religious freedom
  3. Changes to the Gender Recognition Act, Equality legislation and Hate Crime proposals impacting free speech and religious beliefs 
  4. Counter-terrorism law changes that will impact all public venues and events (including churches, residentials and community projects) 

The advocacy team wait with anticipation for the King’s speech, where we will know for certain how the above manifesto commitments will form the legislative agenda for parliament going forward. 

Please continue to pray for the team as we establish new relationships with cabinet ministers and parliamentarians across the political spectrum.

Sign up to receive our analysis on the King’s speech, Labour’s legislative programme and priorities for this parliament. Due out on Wednesday, 24 July.