The independent London newspaper

Have your say in Labour’s future

10 January, 2020

Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer

• I WAS pleased to see the letter in which Robert Latham argued that Sir Keir Starmer would be an excellent leader for Labour, (Starmer is best candidate for the new party leader, January 2).

He provided a coherent case for backing Sir Keir: his intellectual capability and his sound judgment. No one can doubt his abilities.

But I support him for a rather different reason: Sir Keir Starmer’s socialism. This runs deep. He is a man steeped in the socialist tradition that springs from the earliest days of the Labour Party.

It has motivated him for years – whether in backing the McLibel campaigners, the printers in Wapping or the miners during their critical confrontation with the Margaret Thatcher government.

Sir Keir is the sort of person who would drop everything to comfort and support those in need at critical times. I remember him meeting the families of victims of knife crime who had lost children in tragic circumstances. He sat and talked to them: offering the backing they needed in these terrible moments.

It was vital, but he didn’t leave it there. His work on youth crime with Camden Council has been exemplary. And because of the links he had established with the police he was able to discuss the additional measures that were needed to try to halt this scourge.

All of this sprang from the values that are so important to Sir Keir – the mixture of empathy and practical intervention that are the hallmark of his work.

I would urge anyone who wants to have a say in the future of the Labour leadership to act now. The party’s national executive have published the timetable for this contest.

Anyone can, of course, join the party if they wish. But they can also join as a supporter to have their say in the leadership.

To have a say in the leadership anyone can apply to be a supporter; but the window of opportunity is narrow. It will only be between Tuesday January 14 at 5pm and will close on Thursday January 16 at 5pm.

For just two days supporters can register. If you would like to have a say in Labour’s future, please take the opportunity.

Ryland Road, NW5


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