Keir Starmer has set out his stall for potentially running to be Labour’s leader, saying the party needs to remember its values.
The Remain-backing MP has been widely tipped to throw his hat into the ring after Labour suffered its worst General Election result since 1935.
In an interview with The Guardian, the former director of public prosecutions hinted at his desire to run in the leadership race and urged Labour not to stray ‘too far from its values’ and to continue a radical stance.
Some Labour figures have partly blamed Sir Keir and others from the party’s Remain-wing for the dire election performance in which it lost dozens of seats in Brexit-backing areas.
He said: ‘There’s no hiding from it. It is a devastating result, but it’s important not to oversteer.
‘The case for a bold and radical Labour government is as strong now as it was last Thursday. We need to anchor ourselves in that.
‘I want trust to be restored in the Labour party as a progressive force for good: and that means we have to win. But there’s no victory without values.’
He told the newspaper that Labour failed to sufficiently combat the Conservatives’ simple slogan to ‘get Brexit done’.
Sir Keir said: ‘We should have taken it down. Frankly I’d have liked to opportunity to have done it.’
He said there has been ‘too much factionalism’ and called for Labour to return to being a ‘broad church’ as he praised Corbyn-backing Momentum activists and supporters of former leader Tony Blair.
Sir Keir is the only man who is widely-tipped to run for the top job and is likely to face a field of candidates vying to be the first woman to lead Labour.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey is being viewed as the continuity candidate to resume Mr Corbyn’s style of left-wing politics.
Sir Keir said: ‘I don’t think anybody would call me a Corbynista, but I’m a socialist.’
This morning, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme the election result was ‘devastating for millions of people who desperately needed change and are not going to get it’.
He added: ‘I think we need to reflect. There are people who say “well it’s the media”. The media was hostile but it’s been hostile in the past and it’ll probably be hostile in the future, so we can’t rest there.
‘Brexit did, of course, come up on the doorstep. What really came up was this slogan “get Brexit done”.
‘And we didn’t knock it back, we didn’t knock it down and neutralise it hard enough, because it clearly wasn’t going to happen.
‘We put too much in the manifesto, you couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It was really good stuff in there.
‘And we carried, I think, too much baggage into the election, and anti-Semitism is an example of that because it was about values and about competence.’