Sir Keir Starmer has been elected as the next Leader of the Labour Party.
The 57-year-old Labour MP, who has been in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet since 2016 – most recently as Shadow Brexit Secretary – will take over as Leader of the Opposition immediately. He fought off competition from Manchester-born candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy to take the role.
The planned conference to announce the winner of the election was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, so members were notified today via email of the outcome of the election.
Starmer, who was elected as an MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015, is the third consecutive London-based leader of the party, following Harriet Harman (acting leader, MP for Camberwell and Peckham) and Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North).
The London-born politician has spent time in important roles in Corbyn’s opposition, as Shadow Brexit Secretary since October 2016 and prior to this as Shadow Minister of State for Immigration. Before being elected as an MP, Starmer spent five years as Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales. A qualified lawyer, Starmer graduated with first-class honours in Law from Leeds University and obtained a BCL from Oxford University. He has been a Labour MP since the 2015 General Election.
Starmer has publicly protested Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, resigning from the role as Shadow Minister for Immigration as a result of this disagreement. His campaign has shown that he wants to scrap tuition fees, nationalise the railways and other key services, and stop outsourcing in the NHS.
On his election, Starmer said:
My task is to lead this great party into a new era with confidence and hope. It is an honour and privilege to be elected and I hope Labour, when the time comes, can serve our country again in government.
Angela Rayner elected Deputy Leader
Starmer will be joined by Angela Rayner, who was elected as Labour’s Deputy Leader today in the same election. Rayner, 40, worked in care for several years after leaving school without qualifications at 16. She was elected to the seat of Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015 and has been Jeremy Corbyn’s Secretary of State for Education since 2016. One of her most interesting proposals is a National Education Service, built on a similar model to the NHS.