27.2 C

Keir Starmer: What to Know About Britian’s New Prime Minister

10 Downing Street is set to have a new occupant other than a Tory after Britain’s Labour Party won by a landslide in Thursday’s [July 4] election.

The leader of the center-left Labour Party, Keir Starmer,  will succeed Rishi Sunak as U.K.’s new Prime Minister, marking 14 years since the Labour Party occupied the role.

Read Also: 10 Downing Street: Defeated Sunak Resigns, Bids Farewell in Final Speech

- Advertisement -

Starmer joined politics in 2015 when he was elected as MP for Holborn and St Pancras under the Labour Party ticket. He served as shadow immigration and Brexit secretary under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Following Corbyn’s exit in 2019 after the party’s worst defeat since 1935, he became leader after winning internal elections in 2020.

Starmer has become only the fifth person in British history to take Labour from opposition to power. His party has gone from a historic thumping at the general election in 2019 – to victory in 2024, the BBC said.

Join our WhatsApp Channel for more news

For those outside the UK, what is there to know about Britain’s new leader?
The first member of his family to go to college

Keir Starmer is one of four siblings, grew up in Oxted, Surrey, a small town in southern England. He was raised by his father, a toolmaker, and his mother, a nurse who suffered from Still’s disease, a severe form of arthritis.

Keir has often reflected on the difficulties of growing up during the high inflation period of the 1970s. “If you’re working class, you’re scared of debt,” he remarked during the election campaign. “My mum and dad were scared of debt, so they would choose the bill that they wouldn’t pay,” often opting to forgo the phone bill.

- Advertisement -

Starmer was the first in his family to attend university, earning an undergraduate law degree from Leeds University and a postgraduate degree in civil law from Oxford University.

He is now the father of two teenagers and is married to Victoria Starmer, who works for the country’s National Health Service. According to the BBC, Mrs Starmer intends to keep working for the NHS in occupational health as her husband serves as Prime Minister.

“Lady Starmer has been seen at some high-profile events like conference speeches, a rally last week – and at a Taylor Swift gig. But she is unlikely to play as prominent a role in public life as some partners have in the past,” the network reported.

A Late Comer at Politics

Even though Starmer had dabbled in left-wing politics in his pre-parliamentary life, making budget cuts, and checking MPs spending when he was Director of Public Prosecutions, the chief prosecutor for England and Wales, it was only until 2015, when he was 52 that he became a member of parliament. Many analysts in the UK consider that as a late start.

Writing in the Conversation, scholars, Mark Bennister and Ben Worthy say most of his predecessors like Theresa May, came to the role with substantial experience of being a government minister or having served actively in government.

“He has spent the entirety of his political career in opposition. Yet Starmer’s time in parliament has been more intense than most. He was deeply involved in Brexit and then led his party during the pandemic. As leader of the opposition, he saw two prime ministers removed in quick succession (and played a large role in removing at least one, with his methodical lawyer’s approach).”

Man of Mystery

After an election, many seem to wonder how the newly elected might act – what moves they might make even in keeping up with promises before the win.

For Keir, there may be a clue. The BBC describes him as a “ruthless” leader taking on difficult decisions after the exit of Jeremy Corbyn.

“Economic policy was tightened; meaning policies were junked if they weren’t seen as affordable. Sir Keir embraced British patriotism, using the Union Jack as a backdrop for speeches and getting his conference to sing God Save the King. He spent the campaign arguing he had changed Labour and could change the country too.”

Other analysts however say he comes across as a quiet, experienced man and a self-described socialist, but the UK public is unsure if he is, or if that’s a good or bad thing.

While you're here, we just want to remind you of our commitment to telling the stories that matter the most.Our commitment is to our readers first before anything else.

Our Picks



Get the Stories Right in Your Inbox