Britain’s largest opposition party has elected MP Keir Starmer as its new leader.
The Labour Party announced on Saturday that Starmer will take over from Jeremy Corbyn, who will step down to take responsibility for the party’s crushing defeat in December’s general election.
Fifty-seven-year-old Starmer worked as a barrister specializing in human rights issues before being elected to the House of Commons in 2015. He served as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
In a video message, Starmer expressed his resolve to lead the Labour Party “into a new era with confidence and hope.”
Amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Britain, Starmer says that under his leadership, his party will “engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition’s sake.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter that he spoke to Starmer and that they “agreed on the importance of all party leaders continuing to work constructively together through this national emergency.”
Starmer is expected to face the challenge of rebuilding the Labour Party after its historic election defeat, while boosting its presence as the largest opposition party as the virus continues to spread across the country.