News | Published December 18 2019

Sir Keir Starmer weighs up Labour leadership bid

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has informed the BBC that he is “seriously considering” entering the running to become the next leader of the Labour party.

Sir Keir has said that the party has “a mountain to climb” following defeat at the polls earlier in December, while former Labour prime minister Tony Blair said that the party had “let the country down”.

Following his re-election as MP for Islington North, incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would not lead Labour in the next general election, later adding that he will stand down “early next year”.

Since the election defeat, Sir Keir has been critical of the Labour election manifesto, saying it “had too much in it”, while lambasting Labour’s inability to “knock back” the Conservative policy of getting “Brexit done”.

He also suggested that Corbyn’s radical approach to Labour politics should be consolidated, rather than shifting the party back toward the centre.

Sir Keir said: "What Corbyn bought to the Labour party was a change of emphasis - radicalism that really matters - we need to build on that, not oversteer and go back to a bygone age.”

Following the party's losses in traditional Labour heartlands within the Midlands and North of England, Sir Keir insisted that the next party leader must “be able to talk to everyone in the country”, be they from London or elsewhere.

Yvette Cooper, the former work and pensions secretary who lost out to Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 Labour leadership contest, said that she would “reflect over Christmas” on whether to run again after Corbyn steps down.

Cooper told BBC Radio Four that Labour must now be more "inclusive", act decisively to address anti-Semitism and "restore kindness" to its politics.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
December 18 2019

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