Sir Keir Starmer becomes new leader of the Labour Party
Holborn and St Pancras MP pledges not to neglect his constituency work
04 April, 2020 — By Richard Osley
SIR Keir Starmer was this morning (Saturday) named the new leader of the Labour Party as the baton switched across the Islington-Camden border.
The Holborn and St Pancras MP fills the vacancy opened up by Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to retire following the party’s defeat at the general election in December.
He won the leadership contest on the first round of voting, with around 56.2 percent of the votes, defeating challengers Rebecca Long-Bailey (27.6 percent) and Lisa Nandy (16.2 percent).
Angela Rayner was named the party’s new deputy leader.
Sir Keir Starmer’s victory speech
Mr Starmer said that his constituents would not be neglected by the new role at the top.
“In the last three and a half years, I’ve been doing one of the busiest briefs on the front bench in the shadow cabinet – the Brexit brief – and I think, I hope, I’ve demonstrated that it is possible to do the national heavy-lifting for the Labour Party, do visits into Europe, and to be a good constituency MP,” he said.
“I think and I hope people would recognise that.”
His interest in switching from law to politics was first revealed in the New Journal in 2013 when he emerged as possible candidate to succeed Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson.
Mr Dobson, who died last year, did not endorse a candidate in the selection contest that followed his retirement, but he spoke later about how happy that Mr Starmer had followed in his footsteps.
Mr Starmer said: “I haven’t met many people who say I haven’t been doing enough in the constituency. I actually think Jeremy did this pretty well: he’s always been a very, very good constituency MP and he remained a very good constituency MP even when he was leader of the Labour Party.”
“I think you can do both, and I’m determined to do both because I genuinely enjoy and want to be involved in what’s going on locally. It means a lot to me, it actually shapes a lot of my thinking, in terms of what we need to do.. I’m determined to get the balance right and I will be continuing to do my constituency work.”