Who is Keir Starmer, poised to become next British PM as Labour races to majority

Keir Starmer, a former human rights lawyer and public prosecutor, is set to become Britain's next Prime Minister with Labour, if exit polls are confirmed. Born in 1962, he has a background in law and has been an MP since 2015.
Who is Keir Starmer, poised to become next British PM as Labour races to majority
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Keir Starmer will become Britain's next Prime Minister on Friday with his Labour Party set to win a massive majority in a parliamentary election, an exit poll indicated, forecasting Rishi Sunak's Conservatives would suffer historic losses.

Centre-left Labour was on course to capture 410 of the 650 seats in parliament, an astonishing reversal of fortunes from five years ago when it suffered its worst performance since 1935.

The result would give Labour a majority of 170 and would bring the curtain down on 14 years of increasingly tumultuous Conservative-led government.

WHO IS KEIR STARMER

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer is an ex-human rights lawyer and public prosecutor who will have to focus his relentless work ethic and methodical mind on fixing the country.

If exit polls are confirmed, 61-year-old Starmer will be the oldest person to become British Prime Minister in almost half a century -- and comes just nine years since he was first elected to parliament.

In 2003, he began moving towards the establishment, shocking colleagues and friends, first with a job ensuring police in Northern Ireland complied with human rights legislation.

Five years later, he was appointed director of public prosecutions (DPP) for England and Wales when Labour's Gordon Brown was Prime Minister.

Between 2008 and 2013, Starmer oversaw the prosecution of MPs for abusing their expenses, journalists for phone-hacking, and young rioters involved in unrest across England.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, but rarely uses the prefix "Sir", and in 2015 was elected as a member of Parliament, representing a seat in left-leaning north London.

Just weeks before he was elected, his mother died of a rare disease of the joints that had left her unable to walk for many years.

In 2020, Keir Starmer was elected to lead Britain's Labour Party, right after the party suffered its worst general election defeat in 85 years.

Starmer and Labour have also, indisputably, capitalised on years of economic pain and political chaos under the Conservative Party, who look set to have their parliamentary majority eviscerated.

PERSONAL LIFE

Born on September 2, 1962, Keir Rodney Starmer was raised in a cramped, pebble-dashed semi-detached house on the outskirts of London by a seriously ill mother and an emotionally distant father.

He had three siblings, one of whom had learning difficulties. His parents were animal lovers who rescued donkeys.

A talented musician, Starmer had violin lessons at school with Norman Cook, the former Housemartins bassist who became DJ Fatboy Slim.

After legal studies at the universities of Leeds and Oxford, Starmer turned his attention to leftist causes, defending trade unions, anti-McDonald's activists and death row inmates abroad.

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Who is Keir Starmer, poised to become next British PM as Labour races to majority

He is friends with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney from their time together at the same legal practice and once recounted a boozy lunch he had with her and her Hollywood actor husband George.

Source: India Today

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