Labour party activists have set up a grassroots campaign to encourage barrister, former Director of Public Prosecutions and newly-elected MP Keir Starmer, to stand for the Labour leadership.
Starmer was co-head of Doughty Street Chambers, before acting as Director of Public Prosecutions and the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 to 2013. He was elected to Parliament for the first time in the General Election earlier this month, winning the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras, which was formerly held by veteran Parliamentarian Frank Dobson.
As a charismatic new MP unsullied by connections to past leaders Blair, Brown or Miliband, but with an impressive career already behind him, Starmer is seen by many as a strong candidate for the Labour leadership, but so far he has remained silent on any ambitions he may have in that direction.
Therefore, grassroots Labour supporters have taken it upon themselves to champion his cause, setting up a Facebook page in an attempt to persuade him to stand, and planning a ’Twitterstorm’ with the hashtag #keirforleader for 6pm on Friday evening.
”Here is a man with gargantuan public service experience, expert knowledge and a very big heart,” one supporter, Narice Bernard, wrote. ”Someone who is strong in character and fearless in approach. Together we can get behind a potential leader with no baggage, no faction swing, no grievances or recent failed history. Get behind a proven winner! Let us help him come out of the shadows and take the fight to the Tories in a way that none of our beloved current candidates can.”
Meanwhile, another lawyer who was previously favourite with the bookmakers to win the autumn leadership contest has withdrawn from the race after previously throwing his hat into the ring. Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, a solicitor who formerly practised at Rochman Landau, said that he was not comfortable with the level of pressure that came with being a candidate.