Sir Keir Starmer wins Labour leadership contest with 56% of the vote


Sir Keir Starmer has been elected leader of the Labour party after winning the election with more than 56% of the vote.


Starmer finished comfortably ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey, who got 28 per cent, and Lisa Nandy, who polled 16 per cent, bringing an end to Jeremy Corbyn’s almost five-year reign as head of a party.


The electorate was made up of party members, supporters of affiliated organisations and registered supporters who paid £25 to take part.


Sir Keir's support was strongest among the registered supporters, where he gained a massive 78% of the vote.


His next best result came among party members themselves, where he got 56% of the votes.

Speaking after the result, Starmer said he was aware of the scale of the task ahead of him, with the Conservatives enjoying near-record support.


“We’ve just lost four elections in a row. We’re failing in our historic purpose,” he said.


“Be in no doubt I understand the scale of the task, the gravity of the position that we’re in.


He has suggested he will give shadow cabinet roles to his former rivals, Long-Bailey, who was backed by many Corbyn supporters, and Nandy, who has argued the party’s Brexit policy was on the wrong track at the election.


Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions said his immediate priority will be to respond to Boris Johnson’s call for all party leaders to work together to tackle the coronavirus crisis.


Starmer apologises for anti-Semitism in party

Sir Keir addressed anti-Semitisim and said that it had been a stain on the party. He said that he had seen the grief that it had brought to many Jewish communities.


He said: "On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry."


The new leader added that he will "tear out this poison by its roots" and judge his success on whether former Jewish members return to Labour.

"The Labour Party is an incredible and powerful force for good," he said.However added that the party had lost four elections in a row and was failing in its historic purpose.


Starmer said that he understood the scale of the task, the gravity of the position that the party is in and that they have a mountain to climb.


"Be in no doubt, I will do the utmost to reconnect with people from across the country and all communities. Where that requires change, we will change, where that requires us to rethink we will rethink,” he said.


"Our mission has to be to restore trust in our party as a force for good and a force for change."

He concluded: "I will lead this great party into a new era with confidence and hope so, when the time comes, we can serve our country again in government."


Some of his policy promises

Sir Keir has promised Migrant rights, aiming to give full voting rights for EU nationals, backing free movement in the EU, a new immigration system “based on compassion and dignity”, an end to indefinite detention and calls for the closure of centres such as Yarl’s Wood.


On devolution, he promised to “push power, wealth and opportunity away from Whitehall” and create a federal system to devolve powers – including through regional investment banks and control over regional industrial strategy. He also aims to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations.


He also said that one of his priorities includes worker’s rights and that it would mean working with trade unions to stand up for working people, tackle insecure work and low pay, repeal the Trade Union Act.


Meanwhile, Angela Rayner, has been elected deputy leader.The shadow education secretary had a narrower victory, taking until the third round to secure a majority.She still has a seat around the National Executive Committee in her own right and will also have her own agenda.

Ms Rayner has been a long-standing member of Jeremy Corbyn’s cabinet, but will now hold one of the key jobs in the party.


While campaigning to become the deputy leader, Rayner promised to make the case for everyday socialism rooted in people’s lives. She built a commanding early lead which she sustained throughout the 12-week contest.

Throughout her campaign, she said she wanted more funding for the NHS and social care, along with the establishment of a “National Education Service”.


On Twitter, Ms Rayner said: “Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart, I promise I will do everything to repay your trust! I know we face a long and difficult road ahead but it’s our responsibility to offer the better future that the citizens of our country deserve.”


The final field of candidates for deputy was much larger, with all hopefuls making it past the initial rounds.


Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray had all hoped to replace former deputy Tom Watson but failed to win enough support.


Sir Keir won out of 490,731 returned votes, Ms Long-Bailey won 135,218 votes (27.6%), while Ms Nandy secured 79,597 (16.2%).


In 2015, Mr Corbyn took 59.5% of the vote – 251,417 of the 422,664 votes cast.


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