Portsmouth Labour announces it is backing Sir Keir Starmer for party leader

PORTSMOUTH’S Labour party has announced it will be backing Sir Keir Starmer to become the party’s next national leader.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 3:08 pm

Sir Keir, 57, is the member of parliament for Holborn and St Pancras and the shadow secretary of state for exiting the European Union.

Current odds from Sky Bet pitch him as the clear favourite to claim the top spot at 1/10.

The city’s constituency Labour party wants him to become leader ahead of MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry.

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Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The trio have odds of 12/1, 16/1 and 100/1 respectively of becoming leader.

On Portsmouth Labour’s decision to back Sir Keir, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, said: ‘Keir Starmer knows that when Labour comes together, we are a force for radical change unlike any other.

‘With a right-wing government to oppose and a country to win over, there is so much at stake.

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Portsmouth's Labour politicians pledge leadership backing to Sir Keir Starmer
National Labour party leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer, centre, in Southsea with local business owners and Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan, second-right.

‘I am delighted the Portsmouth constituency party has also put their trust in Keir and voted to nominate him as the leader to unite every part of our party and our movement.

‘With Keir at the helm, we can all work together and unite to bring about the society we want to see and get us on the path back to power.’

It comes after Mr Morgan, who won his seat again at the December 12 general election, publicly backed Sir Keir for leader in January.

The shadow Brexit chief visited Portsmouth a month before the election and vowed to campaign to remain in the EU if Labour won.

Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

In a contest, Portsmouth’s Labour party has backed the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, to become deputy leader.

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler, Scotland's only remaining Labour MP Ian Murray and Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan are also in the running for the role.

Mr Morgan said of the choice: ‘I am delighted that Portsmouth CLP has backed Angela Rayner for deputy leader.

‘Her ability to bring the party together, empower activist and fight for practical policies is precisely what Portsmouth and the Labour party needs.’

The position has been vacant since the December 12 election, which saw former Labour MP Tom Watson resign.

Shadow treasury secretary, Clive Lewis and Birmingham Yardley MP, Jess Phillips, were both previously in the race to become Labour’s leader.