Sir Keir Starmer elected leader of UK Labour Party

Cheryl Sanders
April 5, 2020

Words from the Queen's address to the nation and Sir Keir Starmer's election as leader of the Labour party lead the Sunday papers.

His election, by an overwhelming majority in the first round of voting, was broadly welcomed by major Jewish organisations such as the Board, the Jewish Leadership Council, and the Jewish Labour Movement.

It looks as if Sir Keir has chose to appeal to the same group of voters as Corbyn, and that will make it very hard to win back working-class voters.

Meanwhile, shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has been elected deputy leader.

She said the "road back to power is steep but it does not have to be long".

"A united and strong Labour Party could not be more important than at this moment".

The outcome means that Labour's long wait for its first permanent female leader goes on - Harriet Harman and Margaret Beckett have both been interim leaders in the past.

He lashed out at the anti-Jewish racism that was able to flourish under his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn and led to the departure of many members and even some Jewish MPs. Just like Corbyn, he represents the London-centric Labour Party which helped to turn much of the North blue at the last election.

"But we will test the arguments that are put forward".

A more cautious welcome was sounded by Denny Taylor, founder of Labour Against Antisemitism. Having signed up to the Board of Deputies' Ten Pledges during his leadership campaign, he must now honour those pledges in full.

Instead of promising to reverse the decision, Labour offered to renegotiate a new deal with the European Union before putting it to a second referendum - but the party didn't commit to backing one side or the other in that vote.

The election of a new leader does not mark the end of our campaign.

"I will do all I can to make that a reality and to ensure the Labour Party gets into government with a transformative agenda at the next election. Nobody should be under any illusion: restoring trust will take effort, time and political will".

He added: "I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and with hope".

Sir Keir Starmer is a former human rights lawyer and director of public prosecutions.

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