Sun, 23 January 2022

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By Luke Tryl
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By Women in Westminster

Labour Movement for Europe backs Keir Starmer to succeed Jeremy Corbyn

Labour Movement for Europe backs Keir Starmer to succeed Jeremy Corbyn
3 min read

A pro-EU Labour campaign group has thrown its weight behind Keir Starmer's bid to become the party's next leader.

The Labour Movement for Europe is the fifth affiliate body to endorse the Shadow Brexit Secretary, further cementing his position as the favourite to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The organisation also became the first affiliate to back Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray's deputy leadership bid.

Both men were vocal supporters of a so-called People's Vote in the wake of the 2016 EU referedum.

Former Labour MP Anna Turley, who is chair of the Labour Movement for Europe, said: "Our executive has decided to nominate Keir Starmer and Ian Murray because of their strong pro-EU values and the fact that we think they are in the best place to take Labour to victory at the next election.

"Keir led Labour’s Brexit position with skill and diligence, guiding the party to the position we adopted at conference, in support of a confirmatory referendum.

"He worked hard to keep all sides of the debate within our movement together in a difficult and fractious period. As we leave the European Union, Keir understands the importance of keeping as close as possible relationship with the EU to protect people's jobs, their rights and the NHS and environment.

"Ian Murray has twice been the only Labour MP elected in Scotland, which voted decisively to Remain. He has not only survived because of his ability to communicate and campaign but because he has spoken up for pro-European values.

"He understands that even after Brexit our ties with Europe must remain strong. We are confident they will take our pro European and internationalist values forward."

Responding to the announcement, Mr Murray said: "I’m honoured to have the support of the Labour Movement for Europe and would like to thank the organisation for standing up for our values as a pro-European party.

"I fought tirelessly against Brexit, and I will continue to campaign for internationalism and solidarity."

He added: "A close relationship with our European neighbours is vital for Britain’s future and we should never rule out campaigning to be part of the EU in the future if it’s in the national interest."

Despite the endorsement, Mr Murray will need to support of at least 33 Constituency Labour Parties in order to make it onto the final ballot paper.

Sir Keir is already through to the final round of the contest, having also received the endorsement of the Unison, Usdaw and Community unions, as well as the Socialist Environmental and Resources Association.

Meanwhile, veteran former Labour MP Dennis Skinner has called on party members to back Richard Burgon's deputy leadership bid.

He said: "I’m backing Richard to be deputy leader of the Labour Party. Richard is a socialist who never gives in and never gives up. He gives me hope for the future of our party.

"I urge CLPs and unions to nominate Richard and members to vote for him."

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