David Miliband says Keir Starmer makes him ‘proud to be Labour again’

Labour's Keir Starmer speaks with the media at a party conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA.

Labour's Keir Starmer speaks with the media at a party conference. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA. - Credit: PA

Former foreign secretary David Miliband has said that the arrival of Labour's new leader Sir Keir Starmer has made him 'proud to be Labour again'.

The long-standing critic of former leader Jeremy Corbyn said after years of 'vacillation' Sir Keir had brought 'clarity, pride, principle' and 'effective accountability' of the government.

Miliband had been tipped by some as a possible leader of the Labour Party, running for the role of leader in 2010.

But he quit from frontline politics in 2013 after losing to his brother, Ed, and took up the role of president of the International Rescue Committee charity.

Asked about Labour's new leader by ITV's Robert Peston, he said: 'He's made me proud to be Labour again.'

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'The years in which we were unelectable, the years when our promises could not be turned into reality, the years when we were mired in vacillation at best and obscuring at worst of anti-Semitism, have been put behind us.

'I think Keir Starmer would be the first to say it's a very long road, it's a very long road back from a government with a majority of 80, it's a very long road back from Labour's worst result since 1935.

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'But he's brought back clarity, pride, principle to the work of opposition and I think it's been really good to see.'

He added that 'scrutiny' was important. 'The heart of the checks and balances of our constitutional system is effective accountability.

'And now having a leader of a opposition who is leading a team who is able to ask hard questions is really important'.

After Labour's 2019 general election defeat Miliband accused those responsible of 'betrayal'.

He said: 'Now we have seen the truth: Betrayal is when an incredible, sectarian Labour opposition fails to provide a viable alternative to a distrusted Tory party.

'They get rumbled. The Tories win. The country loses.'

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