Chesterfield MP backs Sir Keir Starmer to be next Labour leader

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins says he is backing Sir Keir Starmer to be the next Labour leader.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 10:05 am

Sir Keir, the shadow Brexit secretary, is one of five candidates on the ballot to become the party’s next leader, after winning the support of enough MPs and MEPs.

He is joined by Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry.

Mr Perkins, who retained the Chesterfield seat in December’s General Election when the rest of Derbyshire outside of Derby turned blue, says he promised on election night that ‘he would do all I could to stop any result like this ever happening again’.

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Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

He said: “Working people just cannot afford to have another catastrophe like this election – and the unshackled Tory government it means.

“It is because of the promise that I made to myself on election night that I have nominated Keir Starmer to be our next leader.”

He added: “Keir is fiercely intelligent, passionate and forensic. His career prior to Parliament gave him real world experience which he used to help the vulnerable and tackle the powerful. His intellectual rigour is what Labour and Britain needs against the cavalier carelessness of Boris Johnson, and Keir’s experience of running a large organisation is a vital skill for the leader of the largest political party in Europe.

“I have seen him perform in front of a hostile House of Commons and I know that he is the candidate the Tories fear.

“He is also the person who can reunite our party. He combines a history of loyalty to our outgoing leader with a clear analysis of what needs to change and a clear vision of what Labour’s future offer should look like.

“When we leave for the next election I want to smell the fear in those 365 Tory MPs, not see their grinning faces, mocking us as we walk away to another defeat.

“It is because of mine and my colleague’s desperation to win again that I believe Keir has gained significantly more nominations than the other candidates. I hope that party members will join me in supporting him to be our leader – and the next Prime Minister.”