Keir Starmer is a husband, father, and former Chief Prosecutor. His entire career has been about securing justice for those that need it.
From representing people on death row as a human rights lawyer, to working on setting up the Northern Ireland Police Board in the wake of the Good Friday agreement, to making the law work for victims as Chief Prosecutor.
He was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2020 to continue this work.
Keir grew up in a small town called Oxted, in Surrey. His dad worked as a toolmaker in a factory 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 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.
At school he worked hard to sit the 11-plus and passed, then going to a local grammar school. When he was 18 years old, he got a place at Leeds University to study law, becoming the first in his family to go to university.
Keir was obsessed with football and still plays 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, where he attends with his children.
Standing up for working people
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, as well as 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. The board was an important part of bringing communities together following the Good Friday Agreement.
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.
In 2008, Keir became Director of Public Prosecutions, putting him at the head of the Crown Prosecution Service and its thousands of employees. During that time there were big cuts to public services, and Keir had to reform the service to make sure it still delivered the justice people rightly expect of the system.
As well as changing the way the CPS worked, he was involved in seeing through some important cases, that had a big impact on society to this day. He helped bring Stephen Lawrence’s murderers to justice, changed the guidance to better 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 proudly invited his parents to Buckingham Palace for the event, who in turn brought along the family dog!
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 April 2020, Keir was elected as Leader of the Labour Party.
“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.”Keir Starmer
Getting Britain’s future back, together
Right now, it feels like Britain isn’t working.
Our public services are on their knees, hard working people are not making ends meet, victims of crime are being let down, and that deep British belief, that the next generation will be better off, is at risk.
Keir Starmer and the Labour Party offer the change our country needs. Not just reassurance that it will be ok, but hope. There is a better future for Britain.
Labour will build a Britain that is forging ahead, not falling behind. One where the economy is secure, and rewards hard work. One where you don’t have to move away to get on. If you want to help us build a better country for working people, join us: