By Maisie Marston
After a contest lasting three months, Sir Keir Starmer has been elected the new leader of the Labour Party. He will succeed Jeremy Corbyn, who stepped down after the party suffered its worst election result since 1935 at the December 2019 General Election.
Angela Rayner, the current Shadow Education Secretary, has been elected as the party’s new deputy leader.
In Starmer’s victory statement he said “It is the honour and the privilege of my life to be elected as leader of the Labour Party. It comes at a moment like none other in our lifetime.”
“Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition’s sake. Not scoring party political points or making impossible demands. But with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.”
Starmer became an MP fairly recently, being elected to his seat in 2015. Before this he had a long legal career and made his name in human rights law. At one point he served as the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions which earned him his knighthood for services to law.
His leadership campaign was fought on the claim that he would be the candidate able to reunite the party, saying ‘Factionalism has to go’. Starmer was elected in the first round with 56.2% of the vote. Rebecca Long-Bailey had the second largest share with 27.6%, and Lisa Nandy had the lowest share with 16.2%.
Rayner was elected Deputy Leader in the third round of voting with a final percentage of 52.6% of the vote. Overall, in the third round Rosena Allin-Khan got 26.1% of the vote share, and Richard Burgon 21.3%. Dawn Butler was eliminated in the first round, and Ian Murray eliminated in the second.
Updates to follow