Keir Starmer wins Labour leadership election

Former shadow Brexit secretary beats Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy to replace Jeremy Corbyn

Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership election. Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions, beat Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy in the final leg of the race.

Starmer’s victory marks the end of the Corbyn era, during which the party took a sharp turn to the left over Jeremy Corbyn’s almost five-year tenure at the top of the party.

Just before the announcement of the result, UK prime minister Boris Johnson wrote to all opposition leaders saying: “As party leaders, we have a duty to work together at this time of national emergency. Therefore, I would like to invite all opposition leaders to a briefing with myself, the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser next week.”

The former shadow Brexit secretary is considered to be more on the soft-left than Corbyn but he has promised the former leader’s supporters not to steer too far away from his radical policy programme of nationalisation and fighting austerity.

Starmer 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, who was instrumental in the party’s pro-second referendum position, will now find his time dominated not by Brexit, but how Labour should respond as an opposition to the coronavirus crisis and its impact.