Keir Starmer pledged to “tear out” anti-Semitic behaviour from within the Labour Party minutes after he was confirmed as the successor of Jeremy Corbyn.Sir Keir secured a victory in the first round of voting after a three-month contest against Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy. The new Labour leader conceded anti-Semitism has been a “stain” on the reputation of the party as he insisted new measures will be taken to remove any sign of such behavior among members.
In a video message to the nation, Sir Keir said: “To all our members, supporters and affiliates, I say this, whether you voted for me or not, I will represent you, I will listen to you and I will bring our party together.
“But we have to face the future with honesty. Antisemitism has been a stain on our party.
“I have seen the grief that it’s brought to so many Jewish communities.
“On behalf of the Labour Party, I’m sorry and I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of our Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”
Sir Keir continued: “The Labour Party is an incredible and powerful force for good. Together with those who went before us, we’ve changed the lives of millions of people for the better.
“We created the NHS, we created the welfare state, we passed equalities legislation, the Race Relations act, we set up the Open University.
“We built hospital and schools, established Sure Start and played out part in bringing about peace in Northern Ireland. But we just lost four elections in a row.
“We’re failing in our historic purpose. Be in no doubt, I understand the scale of the task, the gravity of the position that we’re in.”
Sir Keir will be able to count on the support of his newly-elected deputy, former shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.
Ms Rayner emerged victorious in the third round of votes, during which she beat colleagues Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Richard Burgon.
In a tweet published after her election, Ms Rayner said: “Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart, I promise I will do everything to repay your trust!
“I know we face a long and difficult road ahead but it’s our responsibility to offer the better future that the citizens of our country deserve.”
Published at Sat, 04 Apr 2020 10:07:00 +0000