Keir's Looking At You, Kid: Labour Leader Hopeful Vows To 'Set Sights On Every Voter In UK'

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, the current frontrunner in the race, has vowed to defend 'Labour's radical values' and 'pursue Boris Johnson relentlessly in parliament'.
Peter Summers via Getty Images

Labour leader hopeful Keir Starmer has pledged that “our sights will be on every person in the UK” as he fights to win back voters who have abandoned the party.

The shadow Brexit secretary has pledged to defend “Labour’s radical values” and “pursue Boris Johnson relentlessly in parliament” as he fights to win back voters across the country if he becomes party leader.

Starmer, the current frontrunner in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn will formally launch his campaign on Saturday at an event in Manchester.

He is seen as the main challenger to Rebecca Long Bailey, the favourite of the current leadership, who has pitched herself as the most explicitly pro-Corbyn candidate.

The shadow Brexit secretary has moved to try and win the support of all wings of the party.

Simon Fletcher, a former campaigns chief for Corbyn, has been taken on as strategic adviser. But Starmer has also hired Matt Pound, from the anti-Corbyn group Labour First.

Starmer currently has the most nominations from MPs and easily reached the threshold of 22 required to make it on to the ballot of party members. As of Friday he had the backing of 63 MPs.

Speaking ahead of the event tomorrow, Starmer said the party had to win back people who had “lent their votes to the Conservatives” in the north of England and elsewhere.

“If elected leader, I will pursue Boris Johnson relentlessly in parliament. We will connect our opposition in parliament to Labour’s mass movement and to the wider forces in our country who do not want five more years of Tory misrule,” he said in a statement.

“And we will bind that together with an electoral strategy that focuses tirelessly on getting Labour back into government.”

Starmer added: “My campaign will be about defending Labour’s radical values and winning for the majority in 2024 – not either one without the other.

“Labour wins when it glimpses the future. That must be our focus over the course of this campaign.

“The challenge for Labour today is to defend our values, retain our radicalism, and to make that relevant to people’s everyday lives. People desperately need and want us to win.

“Our sights will be on every person in the UK whose support we need to win back. England, Scotland and Wales, in towns and cities alike. And in fighting this internal election we must not lose our focus on the elections this spring.”

Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips have also all secured the 22 backers required to continue in the leadership race.

As of Friday, Long-Bailey had 26 supporters, Wigan MP Nandy has 24 and Phillips has 22.

But Clive Lewis and Emily Thornberry have so far failed to reach the threshold. Lewis had four signatories – 18 shy of the target figure – and Thornberry had nine.


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