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  • The new leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer, London, U.K., 2019.

    The new leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer, London, U.K., 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @Keir_Starmer

Published 4 April 2020
Opinion

He announced that the Labor party will avoid making "impossible demands" in times of crisis.

Human rights lawyer Keir Starmer was appointed this Saturday to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as head of the Labor Party, which will exercise the opposition amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

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With Brexit negotiations frozen, Starmer will focus in the short term on monitoring the conservative government's response to the pandemic.

Nevertheless, besides announcing that "national interest" will prevail over criticism of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's administration, he said that his party will avoid making "impossible demands" in times of crisis.

In the election to choose the Labor party leader, Starmer won the support of 56.2 percent of the vote, business spokeswoman Rebecca Long-Bailey reached 27.6 percent, and lawmaker Lisa Nandy reached 16.2 percent.

In December 2019, the Labor Party suffered its worst defeat at the polls since the 1930s, giving way to an absolute majority of conservative PM Johnson.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Five years ahead of the next scheduled U.K. election, Starmer now sets out to heal open wounds in a party whose factions have been in permanent dispute for the past few years.

"It's the honor and privilege of my life to be elected as Leader of the Labor Party. I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and hope, so that when the time comes, we can serve our country again - in government," Starmer tweeted.

The most left-wing sector of the Labor party accuses Starmer of being a center politician and ideologically close to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

To try to counter that image, during the primary campaign, the new leader on his social profile and assured he will maintain some of Corbyn's proposals such as the abolition of university fees and the nationalization of key services.

Starmer's inauguration has been limited to a video message released via social media.​​​​​​​

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