5 Things To Know About Britain’s New Prime Minister

Labour leader Keir Starmer will soon move into 10 Downing St. as Britain’s new prime minister after his party won Thursday’s U.K. general election in a landslide.While his party has been dominating the polls for the past two years, Starmer, the man set to become the country’s first center-left leader since 2010, remains a lesser-known

Powered by NewsAPI , in Liberal Perspective on .

news image

Labour leader Keir Starmer will soon move into 10 Downing St. as Britain’s new prime minister after his party won Thursday’s U.K. general election in a landslide.

While his party has been dominating the polls for the past two years, Starmer, the man set to become the country’s first center-left leader since 2010, remains a lesser-known figure to many outside of the U.K.

Labour leader Keir Starmer delivers a speech and takes media questions while visiting Norton Cannes Community Centre on July 2 in Norton Canes, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
Labour leader Keir Starmer delivers a speech and takes media questions while visiting Norton Cannes Community Centre on July 2 in Norton Canes, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

Starmer entered the British political scene in 2015 after he was elected as the member of parliament for Holborn and St Pancras with the Labour Party. He then served in the shadow cabinet of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, first as shadow immigration minister before becoming shadow Brexit secretary in 2016.

Following Corbyn’s resignation over the party’s worst defeat since 1935 in the 2019 general election, Starmer became leader after winning the internal leadership contest in April 2020 resoundingly by earning 56% of the vote.

“I will lead this great party into a new era, with confidence and hope, so that when the time comes, we can serve our country again — in government,” he said at the time.

Here are four more things you need to know — plus a bonus fun fact — about the incoming British prime minister.

He Has Been Knighted

Prior to entering the world of politics as a member of parliament for Labour, Starmer, 61, was a human rights lawyer and prosecutor.

He received a knighthood in 2014 as part of the New Year’s Honours “for services to law and criminal justice.” At the time, he was director of public prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

His opponents have used his knighthood against him to brand him as an elite.

He Opposed Brexit

Starmer opposed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum. However, the Labour leader said he wouldn’t try to have the country rejoin the 27-member bloc if he became prime minister, adding that the referendum divided the country.

“I don’t think returning to that kind of uncertainty is actually going to help us rebuild our economy, rebuild our country, grow the wealth and create the wealth that we need for the secure jobs of the future,” Starmer said last month.

He Has Shifted The Labour Party To The Center

Following his election as Labour leader, Starmer shifted the party away from Corbyn, abandoning many left-wing policies and positioning it more toward the center.

Then-Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, speaks with his then-shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer during a news conference in London on Dec. 6, 2src19.
Then-Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, right, speaks with his then-shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer during a news conference in London on Dec. 6, 2019.

Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

Starmer suspended the former leader, a popular figure on the left, after Corbyn said claims of antisemitism within the party were “dramatically overstated” following the publication of a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Corbyn was not allowed to stand as a candidate for Labour in this year’s election but chose to run as an independent in his constituency.

Meanwhile, Starmer has also faced criticism over his stance on the Gaza war as he originally defended Israel’s military operation in the besieged territory following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in Southern Israel. In November, he faced a rebellion after 56 of the Labour Party’s members of parliament defied his calls to vote against a motion supporting an immediate ceasefire. Starmer has since shifted his stance and called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza.

He Was The First Member Of His Family To Go To College

Starmer was born in Southwark, London, grew up in Oxted, Surrey, and is one of four children. He was reportedly named after Keir Hardie, the founder and first leader of the Labour Party.

During the campaign, he has emphasized his humble roots, pointing to his mom, a nurse, and his dad, a toolmaker.

Starmer was the first member of his family to go to university. He got an undergraduate law degree from Leeds University and earned a postgraduate degree in civil law from Oxford University.

He is the father of two teenage children and is married to Victoria Starmer, who works for the National Health Service. His wife has rarely joined him on the campaign trail as Starmer likes to keep his family life away from the public eye.

Labour leader Keir Starmer and his wife, Victoria, walk to a polling station to cast their votes in the local elections in London on May 2.
Labour leader Keir Starmer and his wife, Victoria, walk to a polling station to cast their votes in the local elections in London on May 2.

Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu via Getty Images

Starmer is also a big soccer fan and a lifelong supporter of Arsenal.

Bonus Fun Fact: He Was Rumored To Be The Inspiration Behind This Bridget Jones Character

Starmer was rumored to be the inspiration behind Mark Darcy, the character played by Colin Firth in “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” However — perhaps sadly — the author of the books behind the popular movie series has denied the suggestion.

Read More