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British Queen celebrates

On Wednesday, the major UK tabloid The Sun announced its support for the Labour Party in the upcoming election, declaring it "time for Labour" and describing the

ruling Conservatives as "exhausted" and divided after 14 years in power.

Political leaders have long sought the backing of the influential newspaper, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's global News Corp group. The Sun last supported Labour during Tony Blair's tenure starting in 1997.

Previewing its front page for Thursday, when Britons will vote in an election widely predicted by polls to result in a Labour landslide, the famously playful tabloid headlined, "Time for a new manager," with a football-themed cover to coincide with Euro 2024. The cover added, "and we don't mean sack (England team manager Gareth) Southgate!"

In a lengthy editorial, The Sun expressed support for many of Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's policies, including the contentious plan to deport thousands of asylum-seekers to Rwanda. However, it criticized the party's 14-year rule as "often chaotic" and described it as a "divided rabble, more interested in fighting themselves than running the country."

"Put bluntly, the Tories are exhausted," the paper concluded.

Regarding the centre-left Labour Party, The Sun endorsed its leader, Keir Starmer, stating that he had "won the right to take charge" and praised him for "dragging his party back to the centre ground of British politics for the first time since Tony Blair." This was a pointed reference to the party's recent leftward tilt, particularly under former leader Jeremy Corbyn, who led the party to its worst performance since 1935 in the December 2019 election.

"There is no doubt Sir Keir Starmer has fought hard to change his party for the better, even if it is still a work in progress," the tabloid said.

The Sun's endorsement is highly coveted by political leaders from the two main parties due to its track record of backing the eventual winner. Most famously, it claimed credit in 1992 for Labour's unexpected loss to the Tories with a front page proclaiming "It's The Sun Wot Won It." On election day, it strongly opposed Labour leader Neil Kinnock, headlining, "If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights."

Although Britain's print media is predominantly Conservative-leaning, Labour has recently secured endorsements from the Financial Times, the Economist, and the Sunday Times. Photo by David Shankbone, Wikimedia commons.