Sir Keir Starmer: The five big challenges new Labour leader Keir Starmer faces

Sir Keir Starmer is the Labour Party’s newest leader, party members decided today. He will officially take the reins from Jeremy Corbyn and has vowed to take the party into a “new era” of leadership, but political pundits have identified key areas he needs to address in his position.


COVID-19 is currently the most pressing matter occupying the UK Government, which has come under attack frequently for its missteps during the crisis.

However, the core figure in speaking out against the country’s elected officials is Conservative member Jeremy Hunt.

The chair of the House of Commons health and social care select committee has repeatedly called for the Government to step up testing.

Sir Keir, however, is yet to play a pivotal part in bringing the Government to account, and his allies expect he will do so more as leader.


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As Labour’s first and only Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer’s expertise will be vital in the coming months as the Government continues negotiations with the EU.

He will need to draw fine lines with Conservative officials going forward, as they have pledged not to stall talks during the process.

Sir Keir may ask for a delay to the talks due to the world’s dealings with COVID-19.

Labour unity

Jeremy Corbyn served as a divisive leader during a divisive time for the Labour Party.

Accusations of underlying antisemitism erupted during his time, and people within Labour ranks criticised him for inaction.

Mr Corbyn’s hard-left approach also made him a Marmite figure, while Sir Keir’s more centrist approach will likely gain more across the board approval.

Encouraging signs of this developed early on, as he has received the most backing from both party members and MPs alike, and Sir Keir said he would “rip the poison” of antisemitism from Labour’s ranks.

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Righting last year’s wrongs

Labour suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Conservatives in last year’s December election.

Thousands of people defected from the party’s “red wall” in Wales, the Midlands and the North of the country.

The only way Sir Keir can hope to wrangle the country from the grips of the Conservatives is by winning them back and then some.

He has five years to figure out how he will do so.


While Jeremy Corbyn did prove a divisive figure in Labour, he still had a spirited following within the party’s ranks.

His influence remains, as Corbynite Rebecca Long-Bailey was the second most popular candidate, commanding 27.6 percent of the vote.

Sir Keir needs to keep on Mr Corbyn’s loyal voter base, which will mean keeping on prominent Corbynites in the Labour ranks.

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