BRIDGWATER’S Labour councillors have welcomed the appointment of Sir Keir Starmer as the new leader of the party, and Angela Rayner as his deputy.

Sir Keir was announced as the comfortable winner of the Labour leadership contest this week, taking over the role from Jeremy Corbyn after a humiliating defeat in the last General Election.

A low key campaign was overshadowed by the coronavirus lockdown, the new leader had to give his acceptance speech via a video statement.

He said: “The current crisis reminds us of how precious life is but also how fragile.

"It reminds us of what really matters – our family, our friends, our relationships, the love we have for one another, our health, the connections with those that we don’t know. These make up society.

“When we do get through this, we cannot go back to business as usual. This virus has exposed the fragility of our society, it has lifted a curtain.”

Sir Keir Starmer won 56 per cent of the vote, Rebecca Long-Bailey was second with 27 per cent and Lisa Nandy third on 16 per cent.

Labour leader of Bridgwater Town Council Cllr Brian Smedley said: “In his first speech Kier Starmer has gone straight to the key socialist point in this current crisis. 

“That together we are strong. Jeremy Corbyn put the Labour Party back on a socialist track and we need to unite now to honour and fight for that legacy.
“We need to work together now to have a credible socialist alternative in place when this pandemic is over and capitalism is shown to have failed the world.”

Deputy Bridgwater Town Council leader Cllr Kathy Pearce added: “At last the leadership has been announced. 

“It has seemed a long time coming but I am pleased that Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are our leadership team to take our party forward. 

“It’s taken these terrible unprecedented times for people to realise what we already knew – it’s a strong public sector such as the NHS, social care, and our councils on whom we rely keep society functioning.”