Keir Starmer vows to 'tear out the poison' of Labour anti-semitism as he is elected party leader
Keir Starmer won a landslide victory in the Labour leadership election.
Keir Starmer pledged to "tear out the poison" of anti-semitism from the Labour Party after his landslide victory in the leadership election.
He said he was "sorry" for the hurt caused to the Jewish community during Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and vowed to make Labour a welcoming environment for them again.
Labour is currently under investigation for anti-Jewish racism by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The probe follows years of controversies involving the behaviour of left-wing party members.
In a video posted within minutes of his leadership victory, Sir Keir said: "We have to face the future with honesty.
"Anti-semitism has been a stain on our party. I have seen the grief that it's brought to so many Jewish communities.
"On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry. And I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us."
The Holborn and St Pancras MP admitted that on the back of four straight general election defeats, Labour has "a mountain to climb" to win back power.
But he said: "We will climb it, and I will do my utmost to reconnect us across the country, to re-engage with our communities and voters, to establish a coalition across our towns and our cities and our regions with all creeds and communities to speak for the whole of the country.
"Where that requires change, we will change. Where that requires us to rethink, we will rethink.
"Our mission has to be to restore trust in our party as a force for good and a force for change.
"This is my pledge to the British people. I will do my utmost to guide us through these difficult times, to serve all of our communities and to strive for the good of our country.
"I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and with hope. So that when the time comes, we can serve our country again in government."
Gideon Falter, chief executive of Campaign Against Anti-semitism, said: “As the new leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir has no time to lose in making good on his pledge to take personal responsibility for the party’s anti-semitism crisis and rebuild relations with the Jewish community.
"This must start with addressing our outstanding complaints against Jeremy Corbyn and disciplining him in order to send a message that anti-Jewish racism no longer has a home in the Labour Party.
"Only once Sir Keir has shown that he is serious in tackling anti-semitism can the Jewish community begin to engage with him in earnest."