TWO leading Cumbrian Labour voices have signalled their delight at the results of a party leadership contest.

The three-month leadership contest concluded last week with Sir Keir Starmer coming out on top with 56 per cent of the vote, with the former shadow education secretary Angela Rayner winning the race for deputy leader.

”I am really pleased with the elections of Keir and Angela as leader and deputy leaders of the Labour Party on Saturday,” said the party’s parliamentary candidate for Carlisle, Ruth Alcroft, who voted for Lisa Nandy in the contest, who she praised for “fighting our corner in the north”, and showing “great vision in articulating the issues facing us post-Brexit".

“Though I know there were a wide range of views across the party, they are both incredibly talented, experienced politicians who reflect the backgrounds of British people," she added.

According to Mrs Alcroft, Sir Keir brings something different to the table than his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.

“Keir’s personality and the public’s perception of him is very different. Jeremy’s history as a backbencher had advantages and disadvantages.

“It was partly why Jeremy generated such energy and such an influx of new members - he was seen as part of a new style of politics. The disadvantage was that this was used consistently to attack him.

“I believe Keir is a quieter personality but he is determined, intelligent and is seen as a safe pair of hands. His name was mentioned more than once on the doorstep during the election campaign. This quiet statesmanship is what we need in our country’s leader.”

Sue Hayman, who was Labour MP for Workington for four years before she lost out to Conservative Mark Jenkinson in last year’s general election, backed up the views of Mrs Alcroft.

“I am delighted Keir is going to be the Labour leader, I worked closely with him for four years, including in the shadow cabinet.

“He is a very good, intelligent man. He will really be on the ball holding the Government to account.”

She also believes he is up to the challenge.

“Obviously we have had four consecutive election defeats in the last 10 years, so now we must hold the Government to account.

“I believe Keir can take us forward.”

Mrs Hayman believes the party will be stronger under Sir Keir.

“Keir understands why people backed Jeremy Corbyn and why they didn’t back him. The fact he can is why he is a much more uniting candidate, bringing people with him is very important.

“What we have now got is somebody who has a clear sense of purpose, is really intelligent, has a focussed mind for detail and strategy and has a clear motivation for social justice.”