Sir Keir Starmer has been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party.
He won the contest with a commanding 56.2% of the 490,731 votes cast by party members.
Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy finished second and third respectively with vote shares of 27.6% and 16.2%.
Sir Keir replaces Jeremy Corbyn, who led Labour to its worst general election result in 84 years in December last year.
The former shadow Brexit secretary promised to lead the party “into a new era” so it can “serve our country in government”.
Here is his full statement:
It’s the honour and privilege of my life to be elected as Leader of the Labour Party.
I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and hope, so that when the time comes, we can serve our country again – in government. pic.twitter.com/F4X088FTYY
— keir_starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Angela Rayner has been elected deputy leader, replacing Tom Watson. She won with a vote share of 52.6%, having stood against four other candidates.
Both Sir Keir and Rayner were key members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.
Labour announced the results in a press release on Saturday. A special conference had been called off due to the coronavirus crisis.
In a first warning to Boris Johnson over the government’s handling of the outbreak, Sir Keir said: “At times like this, we need good government, a government that saves lives and protects our country.
“It’s a huge responsibility and whether we voted for this government or not, we all rely on it to get this right.”
New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in profile
However, he also promised to “engage constructively” with the government. Earlier on Saturday, Johnson invited opposition party leaders to a special coronavirus briefing next week as part of a call to “work together”.
Sir Keir subsequently accepted the invitation following a phone call with Johnson after his election was announced.
Congratulating Sir Keir, the prime minister said:
I have just spoken to @Keir_Starmer & congratulated him on becoming Labour leader. We agreed on the importance of all party leaders continuing to work constructively together through this national emergency. I have invited him and other opposition leaders to a briefing next week.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 4, 2020
Sir Keir, a barrister who became MP for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015, is seen as a “soft-left” politician compared to Corbyn.
His leadership campaign centred on unifying the party after a turbulent five years under Corbyn, which included a failed bid by MPs to overthrow him in 2016 and anger over his approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism claims.
After Labour’s 2019 election disaster, Sir Keir has a huge task in the coming years to make the party electable. A YouGov poll on Friday had the party at 28% with Johnson’s Conservatives on 52%.
Responding to the leadership results, Corbyn posted on Twitter:
Congratulations @Keir_Starmer and @AngelaRayner.
Being Labour Party leader is a great honour and responsibility.
I look forward to working with Keir and Angela to elect the next Labour government and transform our country.#LabourLeadershipElection
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 4, 2020
Rayner, who was Corbyn’s shadow education secretary, said in a statement following her election: “Things have dramatically changed in our country in recent months but our values remain the same, and more important than ever.
“Those are the values we will reflect in our actions as an opposition and a movement – standing up for our public services, for our workers and carers, and for a society in which people work together and look after one another.”
Rayner was elected after winning 52.6% of the ballots in the third round of voting.
Rosena Allin-Khan was second with 26.1% and Richard Burgon third with 21.3%.
Ian Murray was eliminated in the second round and Dawn Butler eliminated in the first round.