'A serious leader for serious times': Starmer the right man, say Shropshire Labour leaders
Sir Keir Starmer has been hailed as the right man to steer the Labour Party through difficult times by leading party figures in Shropshire.
The 57-year-old barrister's comfortable victory in the party leadership race over the weekend has been welcomed by party leaders in the county. Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyme, was elected as deputy leader.
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said he believed Sir Keir was the right man to take the Labour Party forward at a challenging time.
"I'm very pleased, I supported Keir from the very start of the leadership contest," he said.
"I think he's a serious leader for serious times, and I think he had a fantastic 24 hours or so since becoming leader of the opposition."
Councillor Davies said Sir Keir faced a big challenge, both in terms of leading the party with fewer MPs than at any time since the Second World War, and also becoming leader at a time of a national emergency.
"What he is saying is right, that he will hold the Government to account, but to be constructive, and ask questions," he added.
"He has got a very difficult role that will require a serious approach, but his background as the former director of public prosecutions will equip him well for that."
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of the Labour group on Shropshire Council, said he thought Sir Keir would make an excellent choice.
"I'm delighted with the results of the leader and deputy leader elections," he said.
"With Keir Starmer, we will have someone with the intellect, drive and social commitments to advance the party while holding the Government fully to account.
"It represents a really strong team combining a variety of talents to take the party forward.
"Keir is already working on putting together a very strong shadow cabinet with diverse backgrounds and some immensely talented people."
Graeme Currie, who fought the North Shropshire seat for the party in December's General Election, also welcomed Sir Keir's election.
"He is a person who has spent his life fighting injustice and standing up to the powerful," said Mr Currie.
"He is committed to Labour's radical tradition of fighting for fairness and equality.
"In these dark times of local, national and global health emergency we need politics to be about sharing, respect and integrity. Keir Starmer will bring people together and he is someone that the country can trust."
Mr Currie added that Sir Keir would be able to unite the party.
"The Labour Party with Keir Starmer as Leader is ready to build another future," he said.
Sir Keir won the party leadership, taking 56.2 per cent of the vote of party members, well ahead of second-placed Rebecca Long-Bailey, on 27.6 per cent. Lisa Nandy came third on 16.2 per cent.
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