Lunchtime summary

  • Starmer has agreed to meet Boris Johnson next week to discuss the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Johnson said in an open letter to opposition party leaders that all parties “have a duty to work together at this moment of national emergency”. (See 10.19am.) But, in his victory speech, Starmer said that working constructively with the government would not mean avoiding being critical when that was deserved. He said:

Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition’s sake. Not scoring party political points or making impossible demands. But with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.

But we will test the arguments that are put forward. We will shine a torch on critical issues and where we see mistakes or faltering government or things not happening as quickly as they should we’ll challenge that and call that out.

  • Starmer said that there must be no return to “business as usual” after the coronavirus crisis is over. In his victory speech he said:

When we do get through this we cannot go back to business as usual. This virus has exposed the fragility of our society. It’s lifted a curtain.

Too many will have given too much. Some of us will have lost too much. We know in our hearts, things are going to have to change.

We can see so clearly now who the key workers really are.

When we get through this it’ll be because of our NHS staff, our care workers, our ambulance drivers, our emergency services, our cleaners, our porters.

It will be because of the hard work and bravery of every key worker as they took on this virus and kept our country going.

For too long they’ve been taken for granted and poorly paid. They were last and now they should be first.

In their courage and their sacrifice and their bravery, we can see a better future. This crisis has brought out the resilience and human spirit in all of us.

  • He issued a fresh apology for antisemitism in the Labour party and promised to “tear out this poison”. In his victory speech he said:

Antisemitism 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.

That’s all from me for today.

Thanks for the comments.

Updated

Boris Johnson has posted this on Twitter following his call with Sir Keir Starmer.

I have just spoken to @Keir_Starmer & congratulated him on becoming Labour leader. We agreed on the importance of all party leaders continuing to work constructively together through this national emergency. I have invited him and other opposition leaders to a briefing next week.

— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 4, 2020

Here are some tweets from journalists about the result.

From Sky’s Beth Rigby

Sir Keir Starmer won more votes than @jeremycorbyn in 2015. Came out on top with all 3 groups of voters MPs/affiliates/party members

Biggest question is extent to which he breaks from Corbynism. The clear victory certainly gives Starmer the authority to re-cast the party #labour

— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) April 4, 2020

That RLB came last among union affiliates; that Burgon came 3rd in race; that non-Corbynites are about to have majority on NEC, the symbolism plain to see. Starmer has moral authority to turn page on Corbynism He’s never answered on how he wants to reposition. Perhaps now he will

— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) April 4, 2020

From HuffPost’s Paul Waugh

Extraordinary figures among 'registered supporters' who signed up just to vote in the election.
Long-Bailey got just 650 votes (5%) to Starmer's 10,228 (78.6%) and Nandy's 2,128 (16.3%)

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) April 4, 2020

From Sky’s Lewis Goodall

A Labour MP texts: “Thrilled. For the first time in ten years we’ve got a leader who looks like a prime minister. In fact, we’ve got a leader who looks more like a prime minister than the prime minister does.”

— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) April 4, 2020

Here are tweets from two of the Labour MPs most critical of Jeremy Corbyn.

From Ben Bradshaw

So happy for my beloved Labour Party & country. First time I’ve backed a winning candidate the public might make PM since TB. Many congratulations @Keir_Starmer. I know you will use your well deserved victory well #AnotherFutureIsPossible

— Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) April 4, 2020

From Pat McFadden

No celebrations today. Only relief that the disastrous Corbyn era is over and hope that we can turn the page on what it did to Labour. Congratulations to @Keir_Starmer and @AngelaRayner on their elections as Leader and Deputy Leader.

— Pat McFadden (@patmcfaddenmp) April 4, 2020

Leftwing candidates defeated in elections to Labour's NEC

Labour has also announced the results today of elections to fill three posts on the national executive committee, the party’s governing body. As Sienna Rodgers reports at LabourList, all three posts have gone to candidates backed by “centrist” groups, not Corbynites. Rodgers explains:

In another huge victory for Corbynsceptics today, all three candidates were endorsed by Blairite group Progress and ‘old right’ organisation Labour First ...

Multiple slates were put forward by organisations belonging to the Labour left, however, with Momentum and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy backing different candidates.

Rodgers puts it more bluntly here.

Another set of important results today – Corbynsceptics have won the NEC by-elections. The Labour left royally screwed up putting together slates for CLP reps, but they didn't get the one BAME rep either. Full results here: https://t.co/i5wLhWSbTZ

— Sienna Rodgers (@siennamarla) April 4, 2020

By the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s time as leader he had majority support on the NEC. But these results will shift the balance a bit, and Sir Keir Starmer will also be able to count on the strong support of some NEC union members who tended to back Corbyn. Control of the NEC is vital because, without its backing, Starmer won’t be able to make any significant changes at party HQ, such as installing a new general secretary.

Starmer agrees to meet Johnson next week to discuss coronavirus crisis

Sir Keir Starmer has accepted Boris Johnson’s offer (see 10.19am) to meet next week to discuss the coronavirus crisis. A spokesperson for the new Labour leader said:

This afternoon Keir Starmer spoke with the prime minister about the current national emergency. Keir offered to work constructively with the government on how best to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, accepted the prime minister’s offer to meet next week and agreed arrangements for privy council briefings and discussions.

And this is from Ed Miliband, Jeremy Corbyn’s predecessor as Labour leader. Miliband is seen as someone who may well be offered a post in Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

Congratulations to Keir Starmer on a clear and deserved victory. His decency, values and intelligence are what our country needs at this moment of crisis and to lead us to a more equal, fairer and just future.

— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) April 4, 2020

Updated

Here is Jeremy Corbyn on the result.

Congratulations @Keir_Starmer and @AngelaRayner.

Being Labour Party leader is a great honour and responsibility.

I look forward to working with Keir and Angela to elect the next Labour government and transform our country.#LabourLeadershipElection

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 4, 2020

The Conservative party has issued this statement from Amanda Milling, the Conservative party co-chair. Echoing Boris Johnson (see 10.19am), she is urging Starmer to work with the government in fighting the coronavirus. Milling said:

I congratulate Keir Starmer on becoming the new leader of the Labour party.

The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades, so I call on Keir Starmer to put aside the divisiveness and infighting that has plagued the top of the Labour party for the last five years, and work with the government to support the national effort.

At this moment of national emergency, it is important that we all work together to fight this virus by staying at home, to protect our NHS and save lives.

Given that even ministers like Matt Hancock have admitted that some aspects of the government’s handling of coronavirus deserve criticism, this will look like an attempt to co-opt Labour into No 10’s strategy to neutralise any political blowback in the future.

Updated

Here is Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, on the election result.

Delighted that @Keir_Starmer and @AngelaRayner have been selected as the new Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

I look forward to working closely with them. #LabourLeadership pic.twitter.com/AXaqSfPN38

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 4, 2020

And here is the statement that Lisa Nandy has released congratulating Sir Keir Starmer on his victory.

Heartfelt congratulations to @Keir_Starmer and @AngelaRayner. We will move forward together pic.twitter.com/zzfixL6s6H

— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) April 4, 2020

And this is from Rebecca Long-Bailey, the leadership candidate supported by the Corbynite left. She is urging everyone in Labour to support Starmer, who she says will be a “brilliant prime minister”.

To those who supported our campaign, thank you for putting for your faith in me 🌹 pic.twitter.com/lNhkZ06QoF

— Rebecca Long-Bailey (@RLong_Bailey) April 4, 2020

This is from Angela Rayner, who has been self-isolating at home while recovering from coronavirus.

Your support means everything. I will never stop fighting for our movement. 🌹 pic.twitter.com/MIdls0n3WG

— Angela Rayner MP 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) April 4, 2020

The Labour MP Jess Phillips, who stood for the Labour leadership herself before withdrawing when it became clear that she would not get enough CLP or union nominations to get onto the final ballot, has just told Sky News that if Starmer offers her a post in the shadow cabinet, she will probably accept.

Updated

Here is my colleague Rowena Mason’s full story about the leadership election result.

Momentum urges Starmer not to purge Corbynites from shadow cabinet

Momentum, the Labour organisation for Jeremy Corbyn supporters, has put out a statement saying that it intends to hold Starmer to account and that he should appoint a “broad” shadow cabinet (ie, one that includes members of the Corbynite left). A Momentum spokesperson said:

In four and a half years, Jeremy Corbyn and the movement around him has changed our party and country for the better, giving a voice to the hopes of millions who felt unrepresented in politics.

Austerity as a political project has been defeated and the dark days when Labour cheered on privatisation, pursued illegal wars and demonised migrants are long gone. Our membership has tripled in size, we have doubled the number of socialist MPs and our party brims with ideas and vision for a socialist future.

Keir has pledged support for most of the programme, including the public ownership of rail, mail, energy and water, a green new deal, kicking the privatisers out of the NHS, scrapping tuition fees, closing down detention centres and taxing the top 5%.

His mandate is to build on Jeremy’s transformative vision, and this means appointing a broad shadow cabinet who believe in the policies and will work with members to make them a reality.

In this new era Momentum will play a new role. We’ll hold Keir to account and make sure he keeps his promises, champion big ideas like the green new deal, build the power of Labour members and do everything we can to get a Labour government elected.

During the leadership contest Starmer ran as a unity candidate and he very intentionally avoided saying anything that might alienate Corbynites in the party. “I profoundly believe that if our party can’t pull together and unify, then we’re going to carry on losing,” Starmer told Andrew Neil in an interview, explaining this strategy.

But the left still have their doubts about his intentions, fuelled by stories like this one in last week’s Sunday Times (paywall) claiming that Starmer was planning “to purge Jeremy Corbyn’s allies in the shadow cabinet and party headquarters within weeks of becoming Labour leader”.

Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer (right).
Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer (right). Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP

Updated

Labour deputy leadership results in full

And here are the results for the deputy leadership.

Here are the overall number of votes cast.

Labour deputy leadership results.
Labour deputy leadership results. Photograph: Labour

Here are are the results of the first round.

Labour deputy leadership — round one.
Labour deputy leadership — round one. Photograph: Labour

Here are the results of the second round.

Labour deputy leadership — round two.
Labour deputy leadership — round two. Photograph: Labour

And here are the results of the third round.

Labour deputy leadership — round three.
Labour deputy leadership — round three. Photograph: Labour

Updated

Labour leadership results in full

Here are the full results of the Labour leadership election.

Here are the overall results.

Leadership election results.
Leadership election results. Photograph: Labour/Labour party

And here are the results section by section.

Leadership election results — by voter category.
Leadership election results — by voter category. Photograph: Labour

Updated

Angela Rayner won the deputy leadership on the third round, after the votes of Dawn Butler and Ian Murray were eliminated, the party has confirmed.

I will post full details of the results in a moment.

Labour has still not released the full results of the ballot yet, but it says that Sir Keir Starmer won with 56.2% of the vote, and Angela Rayner won with 52.6% of the vote.

Sky says that’s what Starmer got on the first ballot. It is not clear yet whether or not Rayner won on the first ballot.

Starmer says there must be no return to 'business as usual' after coronavirus crisis over

Sir Keir Starmer has released the text of his victory statement.

It is long, but I will post it in full anyway. Here it is.

It is the honour and the privilege of my life to be elected as leader of the Labour arty. It comes at a moment like none other in our lifetime.

Coronavirus has brought normal life to a halt. Our cities, our towns and our villages are silent, our roads deserted. Public life has all but come to a standstill and we’re missing each other.

People are frightened by the strangeness, anxious about what will happen next. And we have to remember that every number is a family shaken to its foundation.

Unable even to carry out the most poignant of ceremonies, a funeral, in the way that they would like. It reminds us of how precious life is, but also how fragile.

It reminds us of what really matters, our family, our friends, our relationships. The love we have for one another. Our health.

Our connections with those that we don’t know. A greeting from a stranger, a kind word from a neighbour. These make up society. They remind us that we share our lives together. We have to trust one another and look after one another.

And I can see this happening, people coming together to help the isolated and the vulnerable, checking on their neighbours.

So many volunteering for the NHS, millions of people doing their bit to stop this virus and to save lives.

Our willingness to come together like this as a nation has been lying dormant for too long. When millions of us stepped out onto our doorsteps to applaud the carers visibly moved there was hope of a better future. In times like this, we need good government, a government that saves lives and protects our country.

It’s a huge responsibility and whether we voted for this government or not, we all rely on it to get this right. That’s why in the national interest the Labour Party will play its full part.

Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition’s sake. Not scoring party political points or making impossible demands. But with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.

But we will test the arguments that are put forward. We will shine a torch on critical issues and where we see mistakes or faltering government or things not happening as quickly as they should we’ll challenge that and call that out.

Our purpose when we do that is the same as the government’s, to save lives and to protect our country, a shared purpose.

But that is not the only task for the Labour party. The weeks ahead are going to be really difficult. I fear there are going to be some awful moments for many of us.

But we will get through this. The curve will flatten, the wards will empty, the immediate threat will subside. And we have scientists working on vaccines.

But when we do get through this we cannot go back to business as usual. This virus has exposed the fragility of our society. It’s lifted a curtain.

Too many will have given too much. Some of us will have lost too much. We know in our hearts, things are going to have to change.

We can see so clearly now who the key workers really are.

When we get through this it’ll be because of our NHS staff, our care workers, our ambulance drivers, our emergency services, our cleaners, our porters.

It will be because of the hard work and bravery of every key worker a they took on this virus and kept our country going.

For too long they’ve been taken for granted and poorly paid. They were last and now they should be first.

In their courage and their sacrifice and their bravery, we can see a better future. This crisis has brought out the resilience and human spirit in all of us.

We must go forward with a vision of a better society built on that resilience and built on that human spirit. That will require bravery and change in our party as well.

I want to thank Rebecca and Lisa for running such passionate and powerful campaigns and for their friendship and support along the way.

I want to thank our Labour party staff who worked really hard and my own amazing campaign team, full of positivity, with that unifying spirit.

I want to pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn, who led our party through some really difficult times, who energised our movement and who’s a friend as well as a colleague.

And to all of our members, supporters and affiliates I say this: whether you voted for me or not I will represent you, I will listen to you and I will bring our party together.

But we have to face the future with honesty.

Antisemitism 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 Labour party is an incredible and powerful force for good.

Together with those that went before us we’ve changed the lives of millions of people for the better.

We created the NHS. We created the welfare state. We passed equalities legislation, the Race Relations Act, we set up the Open University. We built hospitals and schools, established Sure Start and played our part in bringing about peace in Northern Ireland.

But we’ve just lost four elections in a row. We’re failing in our historic purpose.

Be in no doubt I understand the scale of the task, the gravity of the position that we’re in.

We’ve got a mountain to climb.

But 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.

Angela Rayner elected Labour deputy leader

And Angela Rayner is the new deputy leader, the Press Association has confirmed.

Labour has confirmed the result.

Congratulations to @Keir_Starmer, the new Leader of the Labour Party!#LabourLeadership pic.twitter.com/i2PjxXaWMf

— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) April 4, 2020

Keir Starmer elected Labour leader

Sir Keir Starmer has won, the Press Association is reporting.

The page on the Labour website, where the leadership result is due to get posted, has crashed.

Updated

This is from Labour First, a Labour group supporting Sir Keir Starmer. We have not had official confirmation from the party yet.

Congratulations @Keir_Starmer! pic.twitter.com/6soME9S9jy

— Labour First (@labour_first) April 4, 2020

John McDonnell has confirmed he is standing down as shadow chancellor.

As I step down as Shadow Chancellor I want to thank all those party members and supporters who have sustained us through the last years with their solidarity. It’s been a privilege and honour to serve our movement. Solidarity.

— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) April 4, 2020

From the FT’s Jim Pickard:

BREAKING

am hearing that Keir Starmer won the leadership on the first round

and that Angela Rayner won the deputy leadership on the third round

(we'll found out in a minute or two for sure)

— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) April 4, 2020

Updated

With the results of the Labour Party leadership election due to be announced soon, here's our chart on the results of leadership contests since 1922.

More on the process of electing a new Labour leader in our explainer here https://t.co/7qnSrNvGBV pic.twitter.com/hE1EoeZJ0J

— Institute for Gov (@instituteforgov) April 4, 2020

These are from Sunder Katwala, a former general secretary of the Fabian Society.

Lowest first-round score of a winning candidate for leader

Ed Miliband 34.8% of college (2nd to D.Miliband 37.8%)

Every other post-1980 Labour leadership contest has been won on the first ballot count (1983, 1988 challenge; 1994; 2015; 2016 challenge, plus uncontested in 2007)

— Sunder Katwala (@sundersays) April 4, 2020

Labour deputy leadership (first round scores of winners)

2010: Harman 18.9% (2nd to Cruddas, 19.4%)
2015: Watson 39.4% (1st, lead of 20% over Creasy)

1992: Beckett 57.3% in 3-candidate race
1994: Prescott 56.5% (59% of party members) in two candidate race.

— Sunder Katwala (@sundersays) April 4, 2020

This is from the Labour MP Yvette Cooper who, as the Times reports this morning (see 9.57am) is being seen as a possible candidate of one of the top shadow cabinet jobs if Sir Keir Starmer wins.

Best of luck to @Keir_Starmer & @AngelaRayner as we wait for results. Tough time to take on leadership but they make a strong, impressive, compassionate @UKLabour team. Glad this has been a positive campaign from all the candidates who’ve worked so hard #AnotherFutureIsPossible

— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) April 4, 2020

Winning the next election does look, on the face of it, a near-impossible task for the next Labour leader. The Conservatives have a working majority of nearly 90, Labour needs to gain 124 seats to win the next election outright and current polling (see 10.01am) suggests the Tories have a 24-point lead. But on the plus side (even before you try to make allowance for the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic) today’s electorate is more volatile than ever.

That is the key conclusion in Electoral Shocks: The Volatile Voter in a Turbulent World, the latest book from the British Election Study team. Published at the end of last year, it focuses on detailed analysis of voting behaviour in the 2015 and 2107 general elections but its core finding is probably more relevant than ever. (Coronavirus is potentially much more disruptive than “electoral shocks” like Brexit and the 2008 financial crisis covered in the book.) A majority of us are now floating voters, the book’s seven authors argue.

When Butler and Stokes looked at panel data of vote choice in the 1960s, they observed that only around 13% of those who voted in both elections switched their vote choices between elections (Butler and Stokes 1969). They concluded that differential turnout and cohort replacement were the major drivers of electoral change. Slightly over a decade later, Särlvik and Crewe (1983) saw sufficient change (21% of voters switched) that they considered there to have been a ‘decade of dealignment’. However, even the switching seen there seems modest when compared to the levels seen in 2015 (43%) and 2017 (33%). Across the four elections from 2005 to 2017, around 60 per cent of voters switched parties at least once.1 Far from being the minority of the electorate, swing voters — defined as people who switch their support to different parties between elections — now comprise the majority of the modern British electorate.

Here are two of the charts from the book that illustrate this point.

This chart shows the percentage of voters at general elections from 1966 onwards, voting for a different party from the one they backed at the previous election.

Individual-level voter volatility at general elections between 1966 and 2017.
Individual-level voter volatility at general elections between 1966 and 2017. Photograph: Electoral Shocks

And this chart shows how the proportion of voters identifying with a particular party, and strongly identifying with a particular party, has declined over the same period.

Electoral Shocks
Electoral Shocks Photograph: Declining levels of party identification since 1964/Electoral Shocks

Updated

Boris Johnson says all parties 'have duty to work together at this moment of national emergency'

Some Conservatives have suggested that Boris Johnson should invite the next Labour leader to join some form of government of national unity to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Johnson has not (yet?) adopted the idea, but this morning he released an open letter to the leaders of opposition parties inviting them to attend a briefing on coronavirus next week. “I want to listen to your views,” he said.

He added all parties “have a duty to work together at this moment of national emergency”.

I have written to all leaders of opposition parties to invite them to work together at this moment of national emergency. pic.twitter.com/HgEsMo3DO2

— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 4, 2020

Meetings of this kind between government and the opposition are, actually, rather routine, and it is not obvious that the opposition party leaders will hear anything that Johnson and his medical and scientific advisers have not been saying at their daily press conferences.

In an interview with Prospect magazine recently, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock said Jeremy Corbyn’s successor should steer clear of a government of national unity. Corbyn himself has also opposed the idea, telling the Daily Telegraph this week that:

It’s the duty of opposition parties to hold it to account, and that is exactly what we’re doing. I think we should be challenging the government and challenging them on the economic response, challenging them on job security, and that is the way to get better government and better decisions.

If everybody got together and said: ‘We’re all absolutely in this together we won’t criticise each other’, that is a negation of what our democratic society is about.

Updated

Lisa Nandy posted this on Twitter this morning.

It’s been a marathon contest. Thank you to all the @UKLabour staff and volunteers who made it happen. And most of all the amazing group of people who came together to fight for a better party and country. @LouHaigh @LukeFrancis88 - it’s been a privilege to do this with you https://t.co/bVqYs1banV

— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) April 4, 2020

The new Labour leader will take over a party that is trailing in the polls by a huge margin. Here are the results of a YouGov poll released yesterday showing the Conservatives 24 points ahead of Labour.

Latest YouGov polling
Latest YouGov polling Photograph: YouGov

And this chart, from Ipsos MORI (pdf), shows how Labour has fared in the polls throughout the entirety of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Polling since 2015.
Polling since 2015. Photograph: Ipsos MORI

In its preview story on the Labour leadership the Times says that Sir Keir Starmer is “preparing to resurrect the frontline political careers of several senior female Labour MPs who spent much of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on the back benches”. The story (paywall) goes on:

[Starmer] will begin appointing his shadow cabinet next week but it will not meet face to face until the government relaxes social distancing rules. Several Labour MPs who declined to serve or were ignored under Mr Corbyn are expected to be promoted.

They are likely to include Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary under Ed Miliband, who is chairwoman of the business select committee ...

Senior roles are also expected for Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy, who both stood against Sir Keir for the leadership. Ms Nandy served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet but stood down after nine months.

Yvette Cooper, the chairwoman of the home affairs select committee and a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, could also return. She might be tempted back if Sir Keir offered her the role of shadow chancellor or shadow home secretary. Roles could also be offered to Lucy Powell, the former shadow education secretary, as well as Angela and Maria Eagle.

James Schneider, a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn who has been supporting the Rebecca Long-Bailey campaign, thinks the thrust of the story is unfair to his old boss.

Some might feel this an odd headline given the last four and a half years is the only time there has been a gender balanced shadow cabinet and there are more female than male Labour MPs for the first time ever. 🤔https://t.co/gsYp56n1hf

— James Schneider (@schneiderhome) April 4, 2020

Updated

Some bookmakers have suspended taking bets on Sir Keir Starmer winning because they think it is such an inevitability. But, as the political betting expert Mike Smithson points out, there are odds on what his winning margin might be.

Ladbrokes have Starmer vote share brackets
40-45% 10/1
45-50% 5/2
50-55% 6/4
55%-60% 7/2
60% 6/1

— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) April 4, 2020

Updated

Good morning. This morning the Labour party is going to announce who has been elected to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced the UK, and much of the world, into lockdown, the contest was attracting less interest than some previous ones because Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, was - and is - expected to win easily, and this morning the announcement will be entirely overshadowed by the crisis facing the nation. Plans for a special conference, where the result was going to be unveiled, were cancelled, and instead Labour will just be press releasing the results at 10.45am.

But the fact that this announcement will not register as a major news event does not mean it does not matter. Hopefully the next Labour leader will be with us a lot longer than coronavirus, and the result revealed this morning will over time shape our politics considerably.

📣 Tune in this Saturday at 10.45am and be first to know who will lead the Labour Party. 📣
🌹 pic.twitter.com/mAdR0UI6Go

— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) April 3, 2020

Starmer and his two rivals, Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, and Lisa Nandy, have all been asked to pre-record video messages to be released in case they win. Labour will also be announcing the results of the deputy leadership election. Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, is widely expected to get the job, but she is up against four other candidates: Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray and Rosena Allin-Khan.

Here is my colleague Rajeev Syal’s preview story.

And this is how Rajeev’s story starts.

Keir Starmer’s plans to transform the Labour party will be dictated by the scale of his anticipated victory on Saturday, key supporters have said, as senior Jeremy Corbyn supporters expressed concerns they could be purged from key positions.

Allies of the former director of public prosecutions say they will be watching to see whether he can achieve an emphatic win before assessing how quickly he can remake the party in his own image, with a clearout of those responsible for the damaging 2019 election defeat.

MPs who support Starmer, 57, are hoping that a resounding victory will put pressure on some of the key individuals close to Corbyn to step down. They are said to include Karie Murphy, Corbyn’s chief of staff and one of the election’s directors, and Jennie Formby, the party’s general secretary.

I will be covering the results, the build-up to their announcement (such as there is any) and providing reaction and analysis. I will be wrapping up at around lunchtime.

If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.

Contributor

Andrew Sparrow

The GuardianTramp

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Labour leadership: blaming 2019 defeat just on Brexit 'not honest', says Starmer at Guardian hustings – as it happened
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including the EU agreeing its negotiating mandate for the post-Brexit trade talks with the UK, and the Guardian’s Labour leadership hustings in Manchester

Andrew Sparrow and Aamna Mohdin

25, Feb, 2020 @10:02 PM

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Labour leadership rivals back '10 pledges' to tackle antisemitism
Contenders voice support for recommendations from Board of Deputies of British Jews

Kate Proctor

12, Jan, 2020 @7:21 PM

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Keir Starmer criticises Labour under Corbyn for 'turning on its staff'
Leadership candidates agreed antisemitism whistleblowers should receive apology

Rowena Mason and Kate Proctor

13, Feb, 2020 @10:37 PM

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Gordon Brown backs Keir Starmer for Labour leader
Former PM says candidate has the expertise and eloquence to lead party back into power

Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

05, Mar, 2020 @12:22 PM

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Labour leadership: Richard Burgon confirms he's standing for deputy leader - as it happened
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

Andrew Sparrow

31, Dec, 2019 @4:57 PM

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Keir Starmer leads the Labour race after unspectacular campaign
Lack of excitement in leadership tussle shows party is in a battle for relevance

Dan Sabbagh

23, Feb, 2020 @4:09 PM

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How will the Labour leadership contest work?
The race to become party leader – and deputy – will begin this week, with new rules as well as new slogans

Heather Stewart Political editor

05, Jan, 2020 @4:42 PM

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Labour leadership: NEC decides contest to last three months, with result announced Saturday 4 April – as it happened
Labour supporters given 48-hour window to place leadership vote with result due to be announced in April

Andrew Sparrow

06, Jan, 2020 @5:21 PM

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Keir Starmer gives Lisa Nandy foreign brief on new Labour frontbench
New leader brings in one former rival for key post but no role yet for Rebecca Long-Bailey

Peter Walker

05, Apr, 2020 @4:19 PM