Gordon Brown backs Keir Starmer for Labour leader

Former PM says candidate has the expertise and eloquence to lead party back into power

Gordon Brown has backed Keir Starmer to be Labour leader, saying he has all the qualifications needed to become prime minister.

Brown said all three candidates were worthy but Starmer was his first choice. He highlighted Rebecca Long-Bailey’s commitment to a green new deal and Lisa Nandy’s focus on the importance of empowering communities.

He said: “There is one candidate with the expertise, with the eloquence, with the dedication, with the commitment and indeed with the values that are necessary for Labour to return to power. Keir Starmer has all the qualifications that are necessary for a prime minister of the future. A vote for Keir Starmer is a vote for hope. It’s a vote for the future. It’s a vote for the values that all of us believe in deeply. Join Keir Starmer and let’s elect a Labour government.”

In his video statement in support of Starmer, Brown laid into the Conservatives’ record over the last decade of “demolishing much of the social fabric and the postwar social contract” that Labour created.

“Our public services are deteriorating and the National Health Service is struggling from crisis to crisis. Britain deserves better than this and it needs a Labour party with a vision of what can be achieved in the new world of the 2020s,” he said.

Brown predicted that Labour under Starmer could reverse the changes to society overseen by the Tories.

Starmer is the clear frontrunner in the contest, with Long-Bailey in second place and Nandy in third. There is a month left for members, trade unionists and registered supporters to vote before the winner is announced in early April.

Brown’s predecessor as Labour prime minister, Tony Blair, has not backed a candidate, saying he does not want to harm their chances.

Contributor

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

The GuardianTramp

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