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Martin Ivens

Boris Johnson Finally Has a Rival to Worry About

From tackling anti-Semitism to holding the government to account on its Covid-19 fiascoes, Keir Starmer is a Labour leader to reckon with.    

A proper cross-examination.

A proper cross-examination.

Photographer: Victoria Jones - PA Images

The ugly stain of anti-Semitism helped make Labour unelectable in Britain. Under Jeremy Corbyn, party officials prevaricated over purging far-left friends and comrades whose opposition to Israel had morphed into something more noxious and dangerous.

Corbyn’s successor Keir Starmer, a human rights lawyer of some standing before he became a politician, has known from the beginning that his party was lost unless he cracked down swiftly and unambiguously on this toxic tendency. His first announcement when elected leader on April 4 was that he would “tear this poison out by its roots.” Happily, he’s proving up to the task — as is true of his leadership overall. Boris Johnson, the Tory prime minister, finally has an opposition to reckon with.