Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB QC MP is a British politician and former lawyer. Has served as Leader of the Labour Party and Opposition Leader since 2020. Elected to the House of Commons in the 2015 general election and Shadow Immigration Minister in 2015. Appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2016 as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union after Britain voted to leave the EU.
About Keir Starmer in brief
Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB QC MP is a British politician and former lawyer. He has served as Leader of the Labour Party and Opposition Leader since 2020. Starmer was born in London and raised in Surrey, where he attended the selective state Reigate Grammar School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Leeds in 1985 and a postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law from St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1986. After qualifying for the bar, Starmer acted exclusively as a defence lawyer, specialising in human rights issues, before being appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 2002. In 2008, he became Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service. Elected to the House of Commons in the 2015 general election and Shadow Immigration Minister in 2015. Appointed to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2016 as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union after Britain voted to leave the EU. He was a vocal advocate for a second referendum on Brexit, saying he would have voted to remain. He identifies as a socialist and has been described as being on the soft left within the Labour party. He is the son of Josephine, a nurse, and Rodney, a toolmaker. His parents were Labour Party supporters, and named him after the party’s first parliamentary leader, Keir Hardie. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama until the age of 18, and played the flute, piano, recorder and violin. Among his classmates were musician Norman Cook, who went on to become a Conservative peer, and future conservative journalist Andrew Sullivan.
He also took violin lessons with future Conservative peer Andrew Cooper, who was also a friend of his father’s. He became a barrister in 1987, at the Middle Temple, later becoming a bencher there in 2009. He served as a legal officer for the campaign group Liberty until 1990, primarily working onhuman rights issues. He notably worked for Helen Steel and David Morris in the McLibel case, which went to court in 1997. In 2002, aged 39, he was appointed Queen’s counsel on the Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach case. He later cited his work on policing in Northern Ireland as being a key influence on his decision to pursue a political career. After Labour’s defeat in the 2019 general election, he will be elected to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in April 2020. He will be the first member of his family to graduate from university. He passed the 11-plus examination and gained entry to Reigate grammar School, then a voluntary aided selective grammar school, although it converted to be an independent fee-paying school in 1976 while he was there. In his teenage years he was a member of the East Surrey Young Socialists. In 1986 he edited the radical magazine, Socialist Alternatives. In 1990 he became joint head of Doughty Street Chambers, and authored a book about the Northern Ireland Policing Board and Chief Chief Police Officers, and was also on the Foreign Office’s death penalty advisory panel. During this time he marched and marched from 2002 to 2008.