75 Facts About Keir Starmer


Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is a British politician and barrister who has served as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party since 2020.


Keir Starmer has been Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015.


Keir Starmer was previously Director of Public Prosecutions from 2008 to 2013.


Keir Starmer graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Leeds in 1985 and gained a postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law degree at St Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford in 1986.


Keir Starmer was appointed as Queen's Counsel in 2002.


Keir Starmer resigned in 2016 as part of the wider June 2016 British shadow cabinet resignations in protest at Corbyn's leadership, but accepted a new post under Corbyn later that year as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union following the EU membership referendum.


Keir Starmer advocated a second referendum on Brexit, in which he stated he would vote to "remain"; this policy was ultimately included in the 2019 Labour election platform.


Keir Starmer's leadership has been characterised by opposition to some of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and issues such as Partygate, the mini-budget, and the cost of living crisis.


Keir Starmer has emphasised the importance of eliminating antisemitism in the Labour Party.


Keir Starmer was born in Southwark, London, on 2 September 1962.


Keir Starmer grew up in the small town of Oxted in Surrey.


Keir Starmer was the second of the four children of Josephine, a nurse, and Rodney Starmer, a toolmaker.


Keir Starmer's parents were Labour Party supporters, and named him after the party's first parliamentary leader, Keir Hardie.


Keir Starmer was a junior exhibitioner at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama until the age of 18, and played the flute, piano, recorder and violin.


Keir Starmer studied law at the University of Leeds, graduating with first class honours and a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1985, becoming the first member of his family to graduate.


Keir Starmer undertook postgraduate studies at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating from the University of Oxford as a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1986.


From 1986 to 1987, Keir Starmer edited the radical magazine Socialist Alternatives.


Keir Starmer became a barrister in 1987 at the Middle Temple, becoming a bencher there in 2009.


Keir Starmer served as a legal officer for the campaign group Liberty until 1990.


Keir Starmer was a member of Doughty Street Chambers from 1990 onwards, primarily working on human rights issues.


Keir Starmer has been called to the bar in several Caribbean countries, where he has defended convicts sentenced to the death penalty.


Keir Starmer assisted Helen Steel and David Morris in the McLibel case, in the trial and appeal in English courts, represented them at the European court.


Keir Starmer was appointed Queen's Counsel on 9 April 2002, aged 39.


Keir Starmer served as a human rights adviser to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Association of Chief Police Officers, and was a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's death penalty advisory panel from 2002 to 2008.


Keir Starmer took over from Ken Macdonald on 1 November 2008.


Keir Starmer was considered to be bringing a focus on human rights into the legal system.


Later in 2009, when the Conservative Party proposed repealing the Human Rights Act 1998, Keir Starmer defended it as a "clear and basic statement of our citizens' human rights".


In February 2010, Keir Starmer announced the CPS's decision to prosecute three Labour MPs and a Conservative peer for offences relating to false accounting in the aftermath of the parliamentary expenses scandal.


In 2010, and 2012, Keir Starmer said that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute two members of the UK security services for their alleged role in torture overseas; he supported further investigation.


In July 2010, Keir Starmer announced the decision not to prosecute the police officer Simon Harwood in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson; this led to accusations by Tomlinson's family of a police cover-up.


Keir Starmer later produced guidelines to prevent women in similar circumstances from being unfairly prosecuted.


Keir Starmer ordered a review into the circumstances that had led to the decision and ordered a further review in 2012 when the missing documents were found.


Later that year, after revelations concerning the undercover police infiltration of environmental campaigns, Keir Starmer ordered a review of related convictions and invited protestors convicted of aggravated trespass to appeal their sentences.


Keir Starmer declined to authorise a wider enquiry, after a report from the judge Christopher Rose found the issue to be a result of individual fault rather than a systemic problem.


In February 2012, Keir Starmer announced that Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, would be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice in R v Huhne.


The CPS denied that Keir Starmer was behind the decision, saying that it was the responsibility of a Crown Court and was out of Keir Starmer's hands.


Later that year, Keir Starmer published a plan for the criminal justice system to better handle cases of female genital mutilation; at the time, the offence had never been successfully prosecuted.


Keir Starmer left office in November 2013, and was replaced by Alison Saunders.


Keir Starmer was selected in December 2014 to be the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour UK constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, a safe seat, following the decision of the sitting MP Frank Dobson to retire.


Keir Starmer was elected at the 2015 UK general election with a majority of 17,048.


Keir Starmer was urged by a number of activists to stand in the 2015 Labour Party leadership election following the resignation of Ed Miliband; he ruled this out, citing his relative lack of political experience.


On taking up the role, Keir Starmer resigned from a consultancy position with the law firm specialising in human rights, Mishcon de Reya, that had acted for Gina Miller in bringing legal proceedings against the government in R v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.


Keir Starmer argued that the government would be need to pass a large number of new laws quickly, or risk what he called an "unsustainable legal vacuum", if Britain left the EU without a deal.


At the 2018 Labour Party Conference on 25 September, Keir Starmer advocated for a referendum on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, saying that the party "campaigning for a public vote must be an option".


In January 2017, Keir Starmer called for a reform to the EU free movement rules following Brexit and for a "fundamental rethink of immigration rules from start to finish".


Keir Starmer had told Politico in November 2016 that negotiations with the EU should start on the understanding that there must be "some change" to freedom of movement rules, given that remaining in the EU single market is no longer a reality.


In May 2017, Keir Starmer said that "free movement has to go" but that it was important to allow EU citizens to migrate to the UK once they had a job offer, given the importance of immigration for the UK's economy.


Keir Starmer was a supporter of a second referendum on Brexit.


Keir Starmer announced his candidacy in the ensuing leadership election on 4 January 2020, winning endorsements from MPs, as well as from the trade union Unison.


Keir Starmer's leadership has been controversial within the party; it has been charged with the allegedly unfair treatment of leftist Labour members, including the blocking of leftist candidates in local elections.


Keir Starmer has been criticised for allegedly failing to respond to anti-black racism and Islamophobia within the party, as identified in the 2020 Forde Report commissioned by Starmer and conducted by Martin Forde KC.


Keir Starmer was dismissed as minister, which was criticised by trade union leaders.


Keir Starmer's politics have been described as unclear and "hard to define".


When he was elected as Labour leader, Keir Starmer was widely believed to belong to the soft left of the Labour Party.


Keir Starmer wrote articles for the magazines Socialist Alternatives and Socialist Lawyer as a young man in the 1980s and 1990s.


In July 1986, Keir Starmer wrote in the first issue of Socialist Alternatives that trade unions should have had control over the "industry and community".


Keir Starmer wrote in Socialist Lawyer that "Karl Marx was, of course, right" in saying it was pointless to believe a change of society could only be achieved by arguing about fundamental rights.


Gavin Millar, a former legal colleague of Keir Starmer, has described his politics as "red-green", a characterisation Keir Starmer has agreed with.


In 2022, Keir Starmer confirmed that he was no longer honoring the ten socialism-based pledges that he had made in the 2020 party leadership contest.


On social inequality, Keir Starmer proposes "national wellbeing indicators" to measure the country's performance on health, inequality, homelessness, and the environment.


Keir Starmer has called for an "overhaul" of the UK's Universal Credit scheme.


On education, Keir Starmer vowed in 2021 to strip independent schools of their charitable status, a move that has been criticised by the Independent Schools Council, and he repeated the pledge in July 2022.


In 2022 speeches, Keir Starmer criticised the Conservative government and vowed to restore trust in government if he came to power.


Keir Starmer described the Labour Party as "deeply patriotic" and cited its most successful leaders, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, and Tony Blair, for policies "rooted in the everyday concerns of working people".


Keir Starmer wants crime reduced, maintaining that "too many people do not feel safe in their streets".


In 2023, the Byline Times revealed that Keir Starmer "actively opposes a move to proportional representation for the House of Commons".


Keir Starmer has advocated an end to "illegal wars" and a review of the UK arms export.


Keir Starmer opposes illegal Israeli settlements, proposals for Israeli annexation of the West Bank, and "the eviction of Palestinians" in the Israeli-occupied territories; he opposes the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.


Keir Starmer has expressed support for the creation of an "inverse OPEC" dedicated to accelerating the implementation of renewable energy.


Keir Starmer supports maintaining the UK's nuclear arsenal as the nuclear deterrent, and voted for renewal of the Trident program; he supports the general post-Cold War British policy of a gradual reduction in nuclear stockpiles.


Keir Starmer was previously a solicitor but now works in NHS occupational health.


Keir Starmer himself stated he does not believe in God but does "believe in faith" and its power to bring people together.


Keir Starmer is a keen footballer, having played for Homerton Academicals, a north London amateur team, and supports Premier League side Arsenal.


Keir Starmer is a vegetarian, believing that "it's better for yourself and for the environment".


Keir Starmer is the author and editor of several books about criminal law and human rights, including:.