Which of our councillors are set to back Starmer in Labour leadership race?
PUBLISHED: 17:02 23 February 2020
A number of district, borough, county and city councillors in Hertfordshire have expressed their support for Keir Starmer in the Labour leadership race by signing a letter in favour of the Holborn and St Pancras MP.
The open letter, supporting the MP battling for the top Labour job, calls on party members to back Mr Starmer as "the best person to unite the Labour Party, take on the Tories and defeat Boris Johnson at the next election".
The 126 signatories include Labour group leaders Judi Billing from Herts County Council - who is also a councillor for North Herts District - Jeremy Newmark from Hertsmere Borough Council, Councillor Malachy Pakenham of St Albans City Council, and Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor.
The letter praises Mr Starmer's experience outside of politics and suggests he would be the best person to "forensically" take apart "Boris Johnson's bluster".
It goes on to state: "We think, another future is possible for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk."
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Speaking in support of Keir Starmer's candidacy, Councillor Sharon Taylor said: "I am supporting Keir because I believe he will unify our party, create a winning organisation again, be powerful and forensic in opposition to our hard right Tory government and have the credibility and policies to lead us to General Election success.
"He has an incredible track record for delivering social justice and experience of running a large and complex organisation.
"The energy and excitement generated by his visit to Stevenage has been a highlight of his visits across the country. I look forward to welcoming him back here soon as the new Leader of our great Party."
Councillor Judi Billing said: "I am daring at last to imagine a positive future for the Labour Party and I am confident that Keir Starmer is the person to lead that."
Jeremy Newmark agreed, adding: "We need to win back people's trust in order to win seats in Hertfordshire and across the country - I believe Keir Starmer is the best candidate to meet that challenge head on."
Councillor Pakenham added: "I believe as St Albans Labour Group Leader that Keir Starmer will deliver positive change to Labour, that will make us once again, the natural choice for voters in St Albans."
Mr Starmer, who launched his leadership bid in Stevenage last month, goes up against MP for Salford and Eccles Rebecca Long-Bailey and Wigan's MP Lisa Nandy.