THE NEW Labour leader Keir Starmer has apologised the “poisonous stain” of anti-semitism in a final swipe at Jeremy Corbyn.
Sir Keir was the favourite all along to win the leadership race, and this morning finally replaced the outgoing socialist.
The 57-year-old won the leadership in the first round, amassing more than 50 per cent of the vote.
Now in his victory speech Mr Starmer paid tribute to his ousted predecessor, but also made clear who was to blame for the party’s handling of anti-semitism.
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.”
He raked in 275,780 votes, amassing more than Mr Corbyn did when he was first elected as leader.
Mr Starmer also got a higher percentage than Tony Blair, Labour’s most successful ever leader who won three elections in a row.
In an announcement video, he said: “It is the honour and the privilege of my life to be elected as leader of the Labour Party.
“Be in no doubt I understand the scale of the task, the gravity of the position that we’re in.
“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.
“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.”
He was congratulated this afternoon by the Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson tweeted: 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.”
Members rejected a continuation of his Marxist policies by candidate Rebecca Long Bailey, who on 135,218 got even less than flop Owen Smith.
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy also fell short. She is set to be handed a job in the Shadow Cabinet.
Congratulating Sir Keir, she tweeted: “We have been competitors in this contest but never opponents and he will have my full support in the challenges that lie ahead.
“A united and strong Labour party could not be more important than at this moment.”
Angela Rayner was named the new deputy leader with 228,944 first and second preference votes in total, getting her to 52.6%.
Rosena Allin-Khan was the runner up with 118,853 total votes, whilst key Corbyn ally Richard Burgon flopped to third with just 92,643.
HOAR earlier revealed the former chief prosecutor had already had a podium delivered to his home and spent last week practising his acceptance speech.
A source said: “It’s not what most us have been doing while we exist on lockdown. But needs must when you are about to become Leader of the Opposition.”
Sir Keir inherits a bitterly-divided party following its worst election defeat since 1935.
However, Mr Corbyn has refused to go quietly, promising members on Facebook we will never really be rid of him.
He wrote: “I can assure you my voice will not be stilled.
“I’ll be out there campaigning for socialism, peace and justice, and feel sure we’ll be doing that together.”