CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Keir Starmer praises ‘positive Corbyn’ as he holds seat with 30k majority

Keir Starmer deliver massive win in Holborn and St Pancras for Labour

09 June, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Keir Starmer with his wife, Victoria, alongside fellow election winner Tulip Siddiq and her husband Chris Percy

KEIR Starmer praised the “very positive” campaign run by Jeremy Corbyn after seizing a monster majority in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency this morning (Friday).

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved,” he told the New Journal. “We have a glimmer of hope here. What is clear is that Theresa May ran a very, very bad campaign – but it’s equally clear that Jeremy Corbyn ran a very positive campaign, with a positive manifesto. We went out there and we took it across the country. That is a large part of why we’ve got the results we’ve seen today.”

This chimed with the views of some of the local Labour members who have been uncertain about Mr Corbyn’s ­leadership as campaigners said it was now time to give “credit where credit was due” at the count overnight. Mr Starmer, who took the reins from the long-serving Frank Dobson when he first became the MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015, saw his majority increase to 30,509.

With all eyes on the north of the borough, where Labour’s Tulip Siddiq was supposedly in a knife-edge battle for survival, the contest was a low-key affair, and Mr Starmer was sent on a tour of Britain to help in marginal seats. Back home, his team was helping to rack up a win which amounted to more than 70 per cent of the vote. Mr Starmer has been tipped as a future leader of the Labour Party, but with no vacancy at the top he is expected to ­carry on as the party’s spokesman for Brexit negotiations.

Although he once resigned from Mr Corbyn’s team at Westminster, he came back into the fold after Mr Corbyn trounced Owen Smith in a second leadership election. Supporters of Mr Starmer in Camden said he could now consider Holborn and St Pancras as “a seat for life”.

“I am absolutely delighted and privileged to have a majority of 31,000. And I’m equally overjoyed for Tulip who has done a fantastic job. This is about the real positivity of Camden,” the former director of public prosecutions said. “We have had fantastic results in Camden and I think this was a huge error of judgment by the Prime Minister to call the election. Most people wondered why she had done it. She wanted a mandate for extreme Brexit. She hasn’t got it. That’s a very good outcome from tonight.”

Mr Starmer arrived with his wife Victoria at the count in Somers Town Community Sports Centre at around 1.30am. A wide smile of satisfaction spread across his face as the results were read out at around 4.45am. He said the “people of Britain had rejected” Prime Minister May’s single-minded “approach” to Brexit. In his acceptance speech, he praised “all the voters and supporters who supported me throughout this campaign” and praised his agent and election team, adding: “And Vic, my wife, who has been a brilliant wife.”

He added later: “I said on this stage last time that I would be a community-focused MP working hard for everyone, and I will continue to do that. That is my oath to you for as long as I represent this constituency. And I say that to all voters in Holborn and St Pancras, whatever party you voted for, I will work for you and do the best I can and to the best of my ability.”

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