On Saturday, April 4, 2020, Keir Starmer was elected as the new leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party and pledged to work with the government to contain the rampant coronavirus pandemic. The Labour Party has been weakened its influence over the years due to bitter infighting within the leaders of the party and was defeated in the nationwide election of Brexit, which was conducted in January 2020.
Starmer, a former director of public prosecutions and was also known for forensic attention to detail when the Labour Party was opposing the country’s exit from the European Union, won with 56% of the party vote. Corbyn ally Rebecca Long-Bailey came second by securing 28% and Lisa Nandy stood third securing 16% votes.
Taking charge immediately as the new opposition leader, Starmer said he would work constructively with the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as test the Conservative leader’s on various challenges. Starmer said in a statement that was pre-recorded due to the pandemic, “Our purpose when we do that is the same as the government’s, to save lives.”
Starmer promised a better society for the workers of the country who stood in the frontline fighting the contiguous virus receive decent salaries and better chances in life. He explained, “Once the country emerges on the other side, where the hospital wards have emptied and the threat subsided, it would need to build a fairer society.”
He added, “In their courage and their sacrifice and their bravery, we can see a better future. This crisis has brought out the resilience and human spirit in all of us.” Citing a better society for the country, he promised, “This is my pledge to the British people. I will do my utmost to guide us through these difficult times, to serve all of our communities and to strive for the good of our country.”
Reconstruction of the Labour Party
The British PM, Johnson wrote on Twitter saying that he had congratulated the new position of Starmer and they both agreed to work together on various issues of the country.
The selection of Starmer as the new leader of the party was considered that his leadership would bring a drastic change in the Labour party. Many centrist Labour politicians celebrated the new leadership and believed it as a sign that the government would finally face proper scrutiny.
The Labour Party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown suffered its worst election performance since 1935 in December due to infighting over strategy and policy over Brexit and allegations of unchecked anti-Semitism turned traditional voters away.
Nevertheless, Johnson’s Conservatives have well expanded its influence including much of traditional Labour territory, as the government was fighting with the coronavirus crisis that prompted the ruling party to deliver unprecedented state support to workers and businesses.
Alf Dubs, an opposition Labour lord who fled to Britain as a child to escape the Nazis, told Reuters, “A fresh Labour leader will challenge the Tories where necessary and give the party the chance to renew itself in time for the next election.” Pledging to bring a change in the party structure, Starmer remarked, “I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence, and with hope.”
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