Sir Keir Starmer elected leader of UK Labour Party
Sir Keir Starmer was elected the new leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party on April 4.
In a statement, he said: “It is the honor and the privilege of my life to be elected as leader of the Labour party.”
Starmer won with 56.2% of the vote in the first round, a decisive victory.
He ran his campaign from the center of the party, pledging to unite the party’s warring centrist and socialist factions.
Starmer underlined that the party lost 4 elections in a row and "we have got a mountain to climb."
"But we will climb it, and I will do my utmost to reconnect us across the country, to re-engage with our communities and voters, to establish a coalition across our towns and our cities and our regions with all creeds and communities to speak for the whole of the country."
Promising to unite the Labour Party, Starmer said he would deal with anti-semitism allegations engulfing the party.
"On behalf of the Labour party, I am sorry," he said.
"I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us," he added.
Starmer succeeds Jeremy Corbyn, who hailed from the more stridently socialist wing of the party.
Corbyn shifted the party to the left after decades of centrism during his 5-year-long leadership.
Starmer reached out to Corbyn supporters and said he would uphold its legacy of radical policy positions, but would also aim to make Labour electable once again.
His main challenger was Rebecca Long-Bailey, widely seen as Corbyn’s successor and the initial frontrunner in the race. She ran an underwhelming campaign.
Also on the ballot was Lisa Nandy, who impressed some political pundits but failed to cut through with the Labour membership.
Starmer is a lawyer and former Director of Public Prosecutions. He also served as the Shadow Brexit Secretary in Corbyn’s cabinet. He was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
The internal Labour leadership election also included the position of deputy leader, which was won by Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, with 52.6% of the vote.
Labour has lost four elections since 2010 when they were last in power. Their last loss in 2019 was their biggest defeat since 1935.