UNISON welcomes new Labour leader and deputy

Party must now come together under new leadership team

Commenting on the election today (Saturday) of Keir Starmer as leader of the Labour Party and Angela Rayner as its deputy, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“I’m so pleased Keir has been elected. He now has a clear mandate to lead Labour at this difficult time for our country. The qualities Keir embodies – public service, respect and trust – are values UNISON shares, and they’ve never been more important.

“Keir has been the stand-out candidate in this race, the right person to lead Labour at this time of national crisis.

“UNISON will be right behind Keir as Labour works with government and holds ministers to account.

“I know he will ensure the voices and concerns of public service workers are at the heart of the national conversation, during the pandemic and as the country rebuilds afterwards.

“Now the entire Labour movement needs to come together, united behind our new leader.

“Angela Rayner’s rise to deputy leader is a tremendous moment for UNISON and the party. Angela is truly one of our own, a care worker who became a union rep and then an MP.

“I know she’ll excel in her new role as she has throughout her meteoric rise. I know too that Angela will never forget where she’s come from. She’s grounded by her deep roots in our movement and her community – and an inspiration to millions.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON was the first union to back Keir and Angela and announced its decision to do so on 8 January.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk