Keir Starmer is a husband, father, and former lawyer who has fought for fairness his whole working life. He is now leader of the Labour Party of Great Britain.
For decades, Keir has stood up against the powerful on behalf of ordinary people who needed help. Keir is driven by his passion to make the world a better, fairer place for working people. This drive led him to stand as an MP and later become leader of the Labour Party.
The son of a tool maker
Keir grew up in a small town called Oxted, in Surrey. His dad worked as a toolmaker on the factory floor and his mum was a nurse for the NHS.
Like many families, they faced challenges. His mum battled a rare, severe illness for all her life. Keir spent lots of his childhood seeing his mum go into hospital, where his father who was devoted to his wife would always be at her side.
Despite the challenges this presented for Keir, he was hugely influenced by his mother’s courage and determination to live her life despite her illness. It also gave him a deep gratitude for the NHS. To this day, he is certain of just how valuable our health service is.
Keir was obsessed with football and still plays 5 a-side every Sunday with friends. He describes himself as a “box-to-box midfield general,” although his teammates may have different views. A lifelong Arsenal fan, he has a season ticket at the Emirates.
Keir studied hard to sit the 11-plus which he passed and went to the local grammar school. At 18 years old, Keir made his parents so proud by getting a place at Leeds University to study law, becoming the first in his family to go to university.
Standing up for ordinary people against the powerful
Keir got his qualifications as a lawyer in 1987 and began working as a barrister.
He spent a lot of his time providing free legal advice defending ordinary people against the powerful. He worked on some high-profile cases, taking on fights against the odds with Shell and McDonalds and working with the National Union of Mineworkers to prevent the Tories’ pit closures.
After that, Keir was the legal advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board for five years. He helped make sure the Good Friday Agreement’s recommendations were followed to help bring peace to Northern Ireland after decades of bloody conflict.
It was during this time when Keir first met his wife, Victoria, who now works for the NHS.
Keir and Victoria married in 2007. The couple have two children.
Serving his country
In 2008, Keir became Director of Public Prosecution. putting him at the head of the Crown Prosecution Service and its thousands of employees. He took the role because he wanted to serve his country and make it a better, safer place.
Keir’s strong sense of justice and desire to stand up for those who needed a voice led his work as Chief Prosecutor. He helped bring Stephen Lawrence’s murderers to justice; improved support for victims of sexual and domestic violence; and prosecuted MPs for misuse of expenses.
Keir received a knighthood in 2014 for his services to criminal justice. He invited his parents to Buckingham Palace for the event, who in turn brought along the family dog. His Dad said:
“We were the proudest parents there.”
Standing up for working people with the Labour Party
Later in life, Keir’s drive to make the world a fairer place saw him enter politics. He was first elected to Parliament in 2015, at the age of 52. He serves as the member for Holborn and St Pancras, where he has lived for many years with his family.
He was Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (2016-2020) and Shadow Immigration Minister (2015-2016).
In March 2020, Keir was elected as Leader of the Labour Party. He said:
“It is the honour and privilege of my life. I will do my utmost to guide us through these difficult times, to serve all our communities, and to strive for the good of our country.”
Building a stronger future together
As we emerge from the pandemic, our country stands at a crossroads.
Down one path is the same old inequality of opportunity and lack of security. The very well off thrive, while the rest of us are left behind.
The Labour path is the promise of a better, brighter, more secure, more prosperous future. If you want to help us build a better country for working people, join us: