It was not the acceptance speech he could have anticipated making when the campaign for the Labour leadership began many months ago, but it was one Keir Starmer used to define the type of leader he would be during the pandemic, and beyond.
Recorded before he was confirmed as Jeremy Corbyn’s successor, Starmer spent most of his speech addressing, not Labour’s electoral crisis, but the national emergency provoked by Covid-19. Significantly, he talked to the country first, rather than his party’s members – 56.2 per cent of whom had just made him leader.
Elected promising to reunite Labour, Starmer in his speech highlighted the ties that bind all Britons. For the coronavirus crisis had revealed what is universally important, he stated, that is: ‘Our connections with those that we don't know.