Holborn and St Pancras: Sir Keir Starmer storms to victory but says Labour needs ‘reflection’
Camden MP tipped as possible next Labour leader
13 December, 2019 — By Richard Osley and Dan Carrier
KEIR Starmer said the poor and homeless had not got the change they needed as Labour lost the general election to the Conservatives this morning (Friday).
The Holborn and St Pancras MP saw his majority slightly reduced but he still held his seat in the House of Commons with a lead of 27,763 from the Conservatives in second place.
After being congratulated on his victory and thanking his team, however, Mr Starmer told the New Journal: “It has been a devastating night for the Labour Party and we must first and foremost think of our communities and what the impact of the Johnson government will be on them on the back of 10 years of austerity. We have a duty to protect them. We have a duty to our constituents to rebuild.”
Mr Starmer had fronted Labour’s Brexit policy which settled on having a second referendum, albeit after renegotiating an EU withdrawal deal.
But Conservatives claimed the simple slogan “get Brexit done” was the winning recipe.
At the start of the general election campaign, Mr Starmer had warned that it could not only be about Brexit.
In his victory speech after the count at Somers Town Sports Centre, Mr Starmer added: “There is no hiding place from the result of this election. It is devastating for the colleagues who have lost their seats across the country, but most of all it is devastating for the communities we seek to represent. Frankly it is devastating for the country.”
Mr Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions who has now has won three elections in Holborn and St Pancras since 2015, said: “Most of all my heart goes out to the millions who needed change in this election, having already suffered under 10 years of the Tories.”
He added: “Those who are homeless tonight, those families living in poverty, those on Universal Credit, and those who are reliant on our health service and public services. This is their loss. They will not get the change they so desperately needed.”
With a vacancy soon to be opened for the Labour Party leadership, Mr Starmer’s name is in the frame as a possible successor – an elevation that many of his supporters in Camden want to see.
“We as a movement need to reflect on this result and understand it together,” he said. “We have a duty to rebuild, starting now.”
Mr Starmer made time in his speech to make a special reference to Frank Dobson, his predecessor in Holborn and St Pancras, who died earlier this month.
In another local triumph for the party, Gail McAnena-Wood won a council by-election in the Haverstock ward. She replaces Abi Wood, a former chair of licensing, at the Town Hall.