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Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner backs Sir Keir Starmer to be the next Labour leader

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Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner is backing Sir Keir Starmer for the Labour leadership.

He described him as encapsulating the “best of Britain” and said he “inspires confidence and respect”.

Sir Kier Starmer at Unison’s headquarters in Euston, London, after the union declared its support for him
Sir Kier Starmer at Unison’s headquarters in Euston, London, after the union declared its support for him

Unison, the union, has also endorsed Sir Keir, who is the first candidate to have secured the support of enough MPs and MEPs to get on the ballot paper. He has the backing of at least 41 so far. The minimum required is 22.

Sir Keir, the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, has represented Holborn and St Pancras in London for Labour since 2015, and is the current Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

Mr Zeichner told the Cambridge Independent: “Many of the candidates for Labour leadership positions were elected in 2015, as I was, so I know them well.

“From day one, it was clear that Keir was the stand-out member of that in-take. He had gravitas, assurance and the experience of already having done a very big job, and it was no surprise that he was immediately appointed to senior positions in the shadow cabinet.

“I was struck by his personal style - warm, friendly and always decent.

“People like working with him, and for him, he inspires confidence and respect, he listens. He is exactly the kind of person everyone would like as a colleague, and as a boss - the exact opposite of Boris Johnson.

“Keir encapsulates the best of Britain, he has used his skill, talent and hard-work to rise from humble origins, while never losing his radicalism and his concern for others.

“He has been a regular visitor to Cambridge to help me and the Cambridge Labour Party, and I was struck by how many people on the doorstep spontaneously expressed the hope that he would one day lead Labour. That is what Labour needs - a leader the country wants. That’s good for Labour, and even better for Britain.”

A barrister by trade, Sir Keir, 57, was a defence lawyer specialising in human rights issues prior to his career in politics.

In 2008, he became director of public prosecutions and head of the CPS until 2013. He was knighted in the 2014 new year honours.

Announcing Unison’s support for Sir Keir, the union’s general secretary Dave Prentice said: "We believe - if elected by the membership - Keir Starmer would be a leader to bring the party together and win back the trust of the thousands of voters who deserted Labour last month.

“Keir has a clear vision to get Labour back to the winning ways of the past. He is best placed to take on Boris Johnson, hold his government to account and ensure Labour can return to power.”

The Labour MP for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner. Picture: Richard Marsham
The Labour MP for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner. Picture: Richard Marsham

Other candidates vying to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader include shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey, Jess Phillips, Lisa Nandy, Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis.

Nominations will close on January 13 and a ballot of party members, trade union and other affiliates and registered supporters will follow.

The winner will be announced on April 4.

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