LABOUR councillors across Renfrewshire will be backing Keir Starmer to be the next leader of the party.

The shadow secretary for exiting the EU is up against Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy for the position. 

And many of the council’s Labour contingent have revealed they will be supporting Mr Starmer, with the belief he can take the party forward after a disastrous general election campaign last year.

Carolann Davidson, who stood as the Labour candidate for East Renfrewshire in December’s ballot, said she believed Mr Starmer was the man to “weed out” anti-Semitism from the party.

The Paisley East and Central councillor said: “During the General Election, I heard constantly on the doorsteps people had lost faith in Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn. Many people said they thought Keir Starmer would be a credible leader.

The Gazette: Cllr Carolann Davidson Cllr Carolann Davidson

“East Renfrewshire has the largest Jewish population in Scotland, and they have turned away from Labour because of the anti-Semitism which has been allowed to grow in the Labour party.

“I spoke out against anti-Semitism within the party at the hustings organised by the Jewish Representative Council. I said then we needed new leadership and that I thought Keir Starmer would be the person to deliver changes needed.”

Jeremy Corbyn announced he would step down as leader at his General Election count as his party endured its worst performance in terms of seats since 1935.

Houston, Crosslee and Linwood councillor Alison Dowling said she would get behind Mr Starmer as Mr Corbyn’s successor for his “long record” on defending women’s rights.

Cllr Dowling, who previously stood as a General Election candidate in 2017, said: “During the last election, Labour voters told me they could not vote for Jeremy Corbyn. They also said if Keir was the leader they would have voted for Labour as they respected his handling of the Brexit debate.

The Gazette: Cllr Alison Dowling Cllr Alison Dowling

“I rate Keir for his long record on defending women’s rights. He recently indicated he shared my concerns over the ongoing consultations on gender self-identification. It is vital to me the Labour Party ensures women’s voices are heard in this debate and our sex-based rights upheld, and honours its recent assertion of support for sex-based rights in the last election manifesto.”

Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank man Colin McCulloch has also insisted he will vote for Mr Starmer, while Cllr Kevin Montgomery, who represents Paisley Southwest, said he will either back Mr Starmer or Wigan MP Ms Nandy.

Council Labour group leader Eddie Devine said he would wait to hear from all members before deciding his vote, while Erskine and Inchinnan councillor James Harte said he would wait until all the hustings had finished before settling on a candidate.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond