Starmer wins Labour leadership contest

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer has won the Labour leadership contest after a marathon campaign.

Starmer won in the first round, with 56.2 percent of the vote, with Momentum-backed Rebecca Long-Bailey with 27.6 percent. Lisa Nandy won 16.2 percent.

Starmer will be accompanied by Angela Rayner as Deputy Leader of the party, after winning on the third round.

The bookies’ favourite, Rayner was eventually elected with 52.6 percent of the vote, with Rosena Allin-Khan second on 26.1 percent with Richard Burgon with 21.3 percent.

In a video on Twitter, Starmer said it was an honour and a privilege to be elected as leader.

“We have just lost four elections in a row. We’re failing in our historic purpose. I understand the scale of the task, the gravity of the position we’re in. We’ve got a mountain to climb, and we will climb it,” he said.

“Our mission has to be to restore trust in our party as a force for good and a force for change.”

Starmer pledged to serve all parts of the country and offer hope, and also gave a message of unity after a campaign which focused on bringing the divisions within the party to an end.

“Whether you voted for me or not, I will represent you, I will listen to you and I will bring our party together.”

He was blunt about the challenges ahead, describing antisemitism as a “stain on our party” and promised to “tear out this poison by its roots”.

Rayner, who has been in self-isolation after suffering from symptoms of coronavirus, thanked those who voted for her through a short video message on Twitter and promised to repay their trust.

The leadership election was triggered after Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation after a dismal performance at the general election last year.

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