THE election of new Labour leader Keir Starmer has been welcomed by Oxford politicians.

Anneliese Dodds, who represents Oxford East, was one of the Labour MPs who nominated Mr Starmer for the leadership of the opposition party.

She said she was pleased by his victory, and said the Labour party had to now work as an effective opposition by highlighting gaps in the government's coronavirus support.

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Mr Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, was announced as the new Labour leader on Saturday morning, with Angela Rayner as his deputy.

His victory in the leadership race was also welcomed by other Labourites on Oxford's city council, and by Lib Dem MP Layla Moran.

Oxford Mail:

Labour leadership contenders Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer. Picture: Robert Perry/Getty Images.

Ms Dodds said: "I am obviously really pleased that he has won the election and I don't think it was a foregone conclusion. We have had a really good debate and discussion within the Labour Party over the last few weeks."

She added that she thought the short to medium term goal of Labour should be to 'focus on doing all we can to work with government', but also to highlight gaps in the Conservatives' financial support packages which are being offered to individuals and businesses struggling with the coronavirus lockdown.

The MP added she thought Labour now needed to learn from the overwhelming loss in December's general election by going out and listening to voters across the country about what they wanted from the party.

She said: "When it came to policy, quite often you would find that Labour policy would be things people might support: more funding for the national health service, having more joined up public services, making sure we have more genuinely affordable housing.

"A lot of people were in favour of all this but they didn't trust Labour to deliver them. That has got to change."

READ ABOUT the leadership result here

In the longer term, the Oxford East MP said the solution to the economic downturn caused by the lockdown would need to be different from the austerity measures implemented after the 2008 financial crash.

Ms Dodds said; "Across the country as a whole the debt will have increased because of the additional spending and there will be a big question about how we deal with that situation.

"Every country is going to have large bills from dealing with this pandemic. We need to be more thoughtful about how we deal with the aftermath of this crisis."

Mr Starmer visited Oxford in January this year, dishing out potatoes to kids at Rose Hill' Junior Youth Club, and visiting the then-newly-opened Floyds Row homeless shelter.

Oxford Mail:

Keir Starmer in Oxford in January. Picture: Ed Nix.

At the time he described inequality across the UK as a political choice by the Conservative government, and said he wanted to retain the anti-austerity policies of the party begun under Corbyn, while avoiding criticism of the Blair and Brown years.

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His victory was also welcomed by Linda Smith, Oxford City Council's deputy leader, who described it as 'a turning point after five dismal years where Labour descended into extremism, sectarianism and electoral decline'.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran also welcomed Mr Starmer's win on Twitter.

She said: "I look forward to continuing to work together on coronavirus and promoting progressive politics.

"I also hope there is room to co-operate further on a fairer voting system. When this is all over it may be more important than ever."