Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has said he is “seriously considering” running for the Labour Party leadership.
The Remain-backing former director of public prosecutions has been widely tipped to throw his hat into the ring to lead the party after its worst general election result since 1935.
In an interview with The Guardian, Starmer made a plea for the party to return to being a “broad church”.
He told the newspaper: “There’s no hiding from it. It is a devastating result, but it’s important not to oversteer. The case for a bold and radical Labour government is as strong now as it was last Thursday. We need to anchor ourselves in that.
“I want trust to be restored in the Labour party as a progressive force for good: and that means we have to win. But there’s no victory without values.”
The race to succeed the leader is in full swing, with potential candidates testing the waters.
Those thought to be in the frame include shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, backbencher Jess Philips and Lisa Nandy, a former shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy, who has said she is “seriously thinking” about running for the leadership.
Starmer told the newspaper that Labour failed to sufficiently combat the Conservatives’ simple slogan to “get Brexit done”.
“We should have taken it down. Frankly I’d have liked to opportunity to have done it,” he said.
He said there has been “too much factionalism” and called for Labour to return to being a “broad church” as he praised Corbyn-backing Momentum activists and supporters of former leader Tony Blair.
“I don’t think anybody would call me a Corbynista, but I’m a socialist,” Starmer added.
The move came as Jeremy Corbyn faced fury from Labour MPs after apologising for the party’s devastating defeat.
The outgoing Labour leader was accused of showing insufficient remorse after addressing MPs in parliament on Tuesday evening as he sought to quell the fall-out over the party’s defeat.
During a heated meeting of the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) in the Commons on Monday, Corbyn came under repeated attack as he came face-to-face with many of his critics for the first time since the huge Tory victory last week.
During the two-hour showdown, Labour MPs said his poor leadership and the party’s “economically illiterate” offer to voters were to blame, and warned that any attempt to “rig” the coming race for Corbyn’s successor would be vigorously opposed.