Keir Starmer

Can the Shrewd Liberal Man Revive the Labour Party?


Keir Rodney Starmer was born on 2 September 1962 in Southwark, London, and grew up in a small town in Surrey, South-East England. His father was a labourer, his mother a nurse, and both were ardent supporters of the Labour Party. His nickname was given in memory of Queer Hardie, one of the historical leaders of the UK socialist movement and the Labour Party.


Starmer studied law at the University of Leeds and then the University of Oxford, and has been practising law and advocacy since 1987.


Starmer’s wife, Victoria Starmer (née Alexander), has a Jewish background, and some of Alexander’s relatives live in Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city.

Joining the Labour Party

Starmer has been active in the Labour Party since he was a teenager and was a member of its youth organisation, the East Surrey Young Socialists.  A lesser-known point in Starmer’s past is his involvement in Marxist groups in the UK in the 1980s. During these years, Starmer was a member of a small group called the self-proclaimed socialist. The group was rooted in the Trotskyist movement and was associated with the so-called “International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency,” whose historical leader was Michel Pablo, a Greek Trotskyist and one of the leaders of the Fourth International.

Starmer as Prosecutor

Starmer rose to prominence in the Labour Party during the tenure in office of prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In 2008, he became the Attorney General, the third highest prosecutor in England and Wales.

Labour Party Leadership

Following the defeat of the Labour Party in the recent UK parliamentary elections, Corbyn had promised to step down as party leader and not run in the by-elections. On 3 April 2020, Jeremy Corbyn resigned from the leadership of the UK Labour Party, and Keir Starmer became the new leader of the Opposition Party in the leadership election. He defeated the other two candidates by winning more than 56% of the votes and was elected to lead the party. Starmer, a moderate and pro-EU member of the British Labour Party, ended Jeremy Corbyn’s term at the helm. In a video message released shortly after his election, Starmer vowed to overcome the Labour Party’s recent controversy. Also, as the party faced charges of anti-Semitism during the Corbyn era, the new leader vowed to “eliminate the poison” and said, “In the name of the Labour Party, I apologise.” Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK, the name of the winning candidate was not announced at the press conference, and each of the candidates had already recorded their words for a possible victory.

Political Record

Starmer, who has worked as a prosecutor, opposed leaving the EU. For three years, he was the Shadow Minister for Brexit. The Labour Party, which opposed UK’s exit from the EU, lost the general election to the Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson. Starmer has sought to retain the socialist supporters of Jeremy Corbyn while maintaining more support from moderate members. He defeated Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey, Corbyn’s allies, to lead the party. He declared that, under his leadership, the Labour Party would interact constructively with the government and would not oppose it merely for the sake of opposing.

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