Meet Keir Starmer, factory worker’s son elected UK Prime Minister

Meet Keir Starmer, factory worker’s son elected UK Prime Minister

Keir Starmer has been elected the new United Kingdom Prime Minister, after the center-left Labour Party’s landslide victory in the UK elections.

He will succeed former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who conceded defeat Friday morning.

Below are things to know about Keir Starmer:

Birth 

Keir Starmer was born in London on 2 September 1962 but he was raised in Surrey.  He is one of the four children of Rodney Starmer, who worked as a toolmaker in a factory, and Josephine (née Baker) Starmer, a nurse. He was named Keir after the first parliamentary leader of the Labour Party, J. Keir Hardie.

 

Education

Starmer attended the selective state Reigate Grammar School, which became a private school while he was a student. He was politically active from an early age and joined the Labour Party Young Socialists at the age of 16.

He 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.

Career

After being called to the bar, Starmer practised predominantly in criminal defence work, specialising in human rights. He served as a human rights adviser to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2002, later citing his work on policing in Northern Ireland as being a key influence on his decision to pursue a political career.

During his time as Director of Public Prosecutions, he dealt with a number of major cases including the Stephen Lawrence murder case. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to law and criminal justice.

First to attend university in his family

Keir Starmer was the first in his family to attend university, studying law at the University of Leeds before completing postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford.

Working-class roots

While campaigning, Starmer frequently emphasized his working-class roots, which distinguished him from some other former Labour party leaders who came from more affluent backgrounds, per Foreign Policy.

Wife

Starmer has two teenage children with his wife, Victoria Starmer, in occupational health in the (NHS) NHS. Victoria, whose parents are Jewish; they’re either here or in Israel.

Public office

Starmer was first elected to parliament in 2015. Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appointed Starmer to serve as shadow immigration minister for the opposition. He served in the role from 2015 to 2016.

Starmer then served as shadow secretary of state for exiting the European Union from 2016 to 2020, as the U.K. navigated Brexit.
In 2020, Starmer was elected leader of the Labour party.