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David Miliband says Keir Starmer has made him ‘proud to be Labour again’ after Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘vacillation’

The former foreign secretary said Labour no longer appeared ‘unelectable’.

2 min read

David Miliband has said the election of Keir Starmer as leader of the opposition has made him “proud to be Labour again”.

The former foreign secretary, a longstanding critic of Sir Keir’s predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, said the new leader had brought back “clarity, pride, principle” to the job after years of “vacillation”.

Mr Miliband served as foreign secretary in the last Labour government and had been widely tipped as a future leader.

But he failed to clinch the leadership against his brother Ed in 2010, and quit as an MP in 2013 before taking up post as president of the International Rescue Committee charity.

Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston, Mr Miliband said of the new leader: “He's made me proud to be Labour again.”

And he added: “The years in which we were unelectable, the years when our promises could not be turned into reality, the years when we were mired in vacillation at best and obscuring at worst of antisemitism, have been put behind us. 

“I think Keir Starmer would be the first to say it's a very long road, it's a very long road back from a government with a majority of 80, it's a very long road back from Labour's worst result since 1935. 

“But he's brought back clarity, pride, principle to the work of opposition and I think it's been really good to see."

The former Cabinet minister’s verdict stands in sharp contrast to his description of Mr Corbyn’s time at he top. 

Speaking in the wake of the party’s 2019 election defeat, Mr Miliband accused those on the left of the party of seeing a stint in government as “betrayal”.

And he said: “Now we have seen the truth: Betrayal is when an incredible, sectarian Labour opposition fails to provide a viable alternative to a distrusted Tory party. 

“They get rumbled. The Tories win. The country loses.”

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