“We must unite our movement once again,” Starmer and Rayner tell members

Below is the full text of the email sent from Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner to party members this afternoon.

Dear member,

We want to begin by thanking you for putting your trust in us to lead the Labour Party.

Today we take the next step in the journey that started 120 years ago when a meeting of trade unionists, socialists and social democrats came together to declare that society needed radical change, and that it could only be achieved by putting aside their differences and focusing on their common cause.

But we take that step at a time of extraordinary uncertainty. The coronavirus has changed our lives in a way we could not have imagined a few months ago.

There are many more difficult days ahead and many people will be forced to make sacrifices. But, even in these difficult times, we see the strength of our communities.

In every local volunteer group, every food parcel delivery and every clap for the NHS you can find people coming together in the knowledge that there is more that can be achieved together than alone.

Our priority as we take up our roles will be to provide an effective opposition and hold this government to account in a time of unprecedented national importance – as Leader and Deputy Leader of the opposition there is nothing more important.

But the crisis will not last forever. The curve will flatten and the emergency hospitals will empty. Once this challenge has been met our job will be to make sure that this Government does not abandon those who it has relied on to get us through.

Our key workers were vital before this crisis began, and they will be when it is over. We cannot allow things to go back to business as usual – in doing so we will fail those who have sacrificed so much to bring us through to the other side.

Finally, we must unite our movement once again. Whether you voted for us or not, we will represent you, we will listen to you, and we will take our party forward together.

We are not complacent about the scale of the challenge we face, but neither should we be daunted by it. Throughout our history we have risen to this challenge, and have achieved remarkable things: we fought poverty, forged peace and in times of crisis we protected people – not just the powerful.

These achievements have never belonged to one group or faction, but to all of us – the millions of Labour members and supporters who have gone into polling stations and voted to make things better.

It might not feel like it right now, but a better future is within reach. Thank you again for putting your trust in us to take you there. We will not let you down.

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner

Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

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