NEW Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer faced fury last night over his belated attempt to rip anti-Semitism “poison” out of the party.
The barrister apologised to the Jewish community and vowed to wipe the “stain” of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to tackle it.
The party chief released a video message within minutes of his victory to try to win back their support — while Labour is still being probed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Sir Keir — who beat Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy in the leadership race — said yesterday: “We have to face the future with honesty.
“Anti-Semitism has been a stain on our party.
“I’ve seen the grief that it’s brought to so many Jewish communities.
“On behalf of the Labour Party I am sorry.
“I’ll tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt they could no longer support us.”
‘HOW CAN THE PUBLIC TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY?’
But critics demanded to know why the ex-chief prosecutor stood side-by-side with Mr Corbyn during the General Election campaign.
Tory MP David Morris said: “It’s staggering Sir Keir’s talking tough on day one of being leader but was happy to sit round the shadow Cabinet table with Corbyn.
“How can the public take him seriously?”
Sir Keir praised Mr Corbyn who was yesterday seen on a stroll near his London home.
He said: “I want to pay tribute to Jeremy who led our party through difficult times, who energised our movement and who is a friend as well as colleague.”
Sir Keir, 57, won 56 per cent of the 490,731 votes cast in the leadership race — beating 40-year-olds Ms Long Bailey’s 27 per cent and Ms Nandy’s 16 per cent.
He won in all sections of the party “selectorate” including members, those in affiliated unions and groups and “registered supporters”.
Angela Rayner, 40, was elected deputy leader with 52.6 per cent beating Dr Rosena Allin-Khan.
LEFT-WING campaign group Momentum has vowed to make sure Sir Keir Starmer “keeps his promises” while leading Labour.
The group — often seen as a Jeremy Corbyn cult — wants him to build on his predecessor’s vision for Britain and demands a broad shadow Cabinet. In a pointed statement yesterday, a spokesman said: “We’ll hold Keir to account and make sure he keeps his promises and champion big ideas.”