Who is Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party?

A straightforward biography of the man hoping to become the next prime minister

Who is Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party?

No really, who is he?

Sir Keir Starmer (b. 1962) is the current leader of the Labour Party. After studying Law at the University of Leeds and Civil Law at the University of Oxford, Starmer’s law career largely focussed on human rights. He became Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, roles for which he received a knighthood in 2014.

Starmer was elected as the MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015. He became Shadow Minister for Immigration and then Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. He also campaigned for a second referendum on Brexit. After Jeremy Corbyn resigned following the 2019 general election, Starmer won the party leadership election in 2020.  

What to know about Starmer

Three steps to stability. Upon becoming leader of the Labour Party, Starmer outlined a three-step plan to win the next election and restore stability to the UK. The first step was to detoxify and change the Labour Party, rooting out the anti-semitic status quo and legacy of Jeremy Corbyn. The second step was to expose the Conservative Party as unfit to govern by providing intense scrutiny. The third step (pending) is to win the upcoming election.

Brexit. As the Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Starmer set out six tests for the Brexit negotiations and stated that Labour would not back the deal unless they were met. 

The six tests were: Does it ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU? Does it deliver the “exact same benefits” as we currently have as members of the single market and customs union? Does it ensure the fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities? Does it defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom? Does it protect national security and our capacity to tackle cross-border crime?  Does it deliver for all regions and nations of the UK?

A changed Labour. Starmer now leads a changed Labour Party. Whilst many have framed him as the successor to Tony Blair’s New Labour, ultimately Starmer aims to return the party to its working class roots. Starmer says the last four years of his leadership have “returned it [the party] once more to the service of working people.”


Starmer’s five national missions are as follows:

  1. Get Britain building again

  2. Switch on Great British Energy

  3. Get the NHS back on its feet

  4. Take back our streets

  5. Break down barriers to opportunity

For more information on Labour’s five missions, visit their website here.

Header Image Credit: UK Parliament via Flickr


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