Sir Keir Starmer named new Labour leader

Published by Scott Challinor on April 4th 2020, 10:10am

Sir Keir Starmer has been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party.

The Holborn & St Pancras MP succeeds outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn, after seeing off rival candidates Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey in the poll among party members.

Sir Keir secured 56.2 per cent of the votes, with Long-Bailey and Nandy taking 27.6 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively.

The coronavirus pandemic meant that Sir Keir’s unveiling came at a scaled-back event as opposed to the traditional conference, with each candidate having pre-recorded a victory speech.

The result was put up on the Labour Party website and revealed to the press shortly after the scheduled time of 10:45 BST, after the site had temporarily crashed.

In a video on Twitter, Sir Keir said that being elected leader was the “honour and privilege” of his life and promised to lead Labour into a “new era of confidence and hope”.

Turning his attention to the party’s recent record on antisemitism which blighted Corbyn’s tenure as leader, Sir Keir vowed to “tear out this poison by its roots”.

One of Sir Keir’s first acts as leader will be to meet with Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson to discuss the Covid-19 crisis.

Referring to the pandemic, Sir Keir said: "It reminds us of what really matters - our family, our friends, our relationships, the love we have one another, our health, the connections with those that we don't know.

"These make up society. They remind us that we share our lives together. We have to trust one another and look after one another."

Sir Keir, a qualified barrister and former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, was first elected to the Commons in the 2015 general election and named shadow minister for immigration by Corbyn. Sir Keir resigned from this role along with numerous other MPs in June 2016 as a protest against Corbyn’s leadership, before he returned to the shadow cabinet in October of the same year as shadow Brexit secretary.

Meanwhile, Angela Rayner, who served as shadow education secretary under Corbyn, has been elected as the party’s new deputy leader. 

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Scott Challinor
Business Editor
April 4th 2020, 10:10am

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