|Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union|
|Assumed office |
6 October 2016
|Preceded by||Emily Thornberry|
|Director of Public Prosecutions|
1 November 2008 – 1 November 2013
|Preceded by||Ken Macdonald|
|Succeeded by||Alison Saunders|
|Member of Parliament|
for Holborn and St Pancras
|Assumed office |
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Frank Dobson|
|Born||2 September 1962|
Southwark, London, England
Victoria Alexander (m. 2007)
|Education||Reigate Grammar School|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds|
St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Sir Keir Starmer Member of Parliament (MP) for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015. A member of the Labour Party, he is currently Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and is a candidate for Leader of the Labour Party in the 2020 leadership election.(born 2 September 1962) is a British politician who has been
After qualifying for the bar, he acted exclusively as a defence lawyer specialising in human rights issues. In 2008, he was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), holding the role until 2013. He was appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 2002 and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2014 New Year Honours. He was sworn in as a Privy Councillor in 2017.
Early life and education
Keir Starmer was born in Southwark, London, on 2 September 1962. He was the second of four children of Josephine (née Baker), a nurse, and Rodney Starmer, a toolmaker. Keir was named after the first Labour Party MP, Keir Hardie. He passed the 11-plus examination and gained entry to Reigate Grammar School, then a voluntary aided state school, although it converted to an independent fee-paying grammar school in 1976 while he was there. He studied law at the University of Leeds, graduating with a first class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1985. He then undertook postgraduate studies at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) in 1986.
Starmer became a barrister in 1987, at the Middle Temple, later becoming a bencher there in 2009. He has also been called to the bar in several Caribbean countries. Primarily working on human rights issues, he notably worked for Helen Steel and David Morris in the McLibel case, which went to court in 1997. In an interview, he described the case as "very much a David and Goliath", and said that "there's an extremely good legal team acting for McDonalds at great expense and Dave and Helen have had to act for themselves with me as a sort of free back up whenever possible." He was also interviewed for McLibel, the documentary about the case directed by Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2002, the same year he became joint head of Doughty Street Chambers. Starmer also served as a human rights adviser to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Association of Chief Police Officers, and was also a member of the Foreign Office Death Penalty Advisory Panel from 2002 to 2008. In 2007, he was named "QC of the Year" by the UK legal directory.
Director of Public Prosecutions
In July 2008, Attorney General Patricia Scotland named Starmer as the new Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions; he took over from Ken Macdonald on 1 November 2008. Macdonald, himself a former defence lawyer, publicly welcomed the appointment.
In July 2010, Starmer announced the decision not to prosecute the police officer Simon Harwood in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson; this led to accusations by Tomlinson's family of a police cover-up. After a subsequent inquest found that Mr Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed, Starmer announced that Harwood would be prosecuted for manslaughter. The officer was acquitted in July 2012, but dismissed from the police that September.
In February 2012, Starmer announced that Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and his former wife, Vicky Pryce, would be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. Huhne became the first Cabinet Minister in British history to be compelled to resign as a result of criminal proceedings. Starmer had previously said in relation to the case that "[w]here there is sufficient evidence we do not shy away from prosecuting politicians".
In the summer of 2012, journalist Nick Cohen published allegations that Starmer was personally responsible for allowing to proceed the prosecution of Paul Chamber in what became known as the "Twitter Joke Trial". Chamber's conviction of sending a message "of a menacing character" was quashed after a third appeal. The CPS denied that Starmer was behind the decision, saying that it was the responsibility of a Crown Court and was out of Starmer's hands.
Starmer left office in November 2013, and was replaced by Alison Saunders. Later that month, the Labour Party announced that Starmer would lead an enquiry into changing the law to give further protection to victims in cases of rape and child abuse. On 28 December, he said to BBC News: "Well, I'm back in private practice; I'm rather enjoying having some free time, and I'm considering a number of options".
Starmer was selected in December 2014 to be the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, following the decision of the sitting MP Frank Dobson to retire. Starmer was elected at the 2015 general election with a majority of 17,048.
He was urged by a number of activists to stand to be leader of the Labour Party in the 2015 leadership election following the resignation of Ed Miliband, but he ruled this out, citing his relative lack of political experience. During the campaign, Keir Starmer supported Andy Burnham, who finished second to Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn appointed Starmer as a shadow Home Office minister, a role from which Starmer resigned in 2016 in protest at Corbyn's leadership, along with numerous other Labour MPs.
Shadow Brexit secretary
On 6 October 2016, Starmer accepted appointment as shadow Brexit secretary, replacing Emily Thornberry in this role. On taking up the role, Starmer resigned from a consultancy position with the law firm specialising in human rights, Mishcon de Reya LLP, that had acted for Gina Miller in bringing legal proceedings against the Government.
In his role as shadow Brexit secretary, Starmer questioned the Government's "destination" for the UK outside of the European Union, as well as calling for Brexit plans to be made public. On 6 December 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the publication of such plans, in what some considered a victory for Starmer. Starmer has argued that the Government would be subject to a race against time to pass a large number of new laws, or risk an "unsustainable legal vacuum", if Britain left the EU without a deal. On 25 September 2018, he declared to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool that "campaigning [by the party] for a public vote must be an option".
Starmer has called for a reform to the EU free movement rules following Brexit and for a "fundamental rethink of immigration rules from start to finish".  In his first interview after being appointed to the Shadow Cabinet, Starmer argued that immigration was too high and called for it to be reduced as Britain leaves the EU, despite Corbyn ruling out any cap. Starmer told Politico in April 2016 that negotiations with the EU should start on the understanding that there must be "some change" to freedom of movement rules, given that remaining in the EU single market is no longer a reality.
In May 2017, Starmer claimed that "free movement has to go"; however, he also claimed it was important to retain "free movement of labour", given the importance of immigration for the UK's economy.
2020 leadership election
Following Labour's heavy defeat in the 2019 general election, Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would stand down as Leader of the Labour Party. Starmer announced his candidacy in the ensuing leadership election on 4 January 2020, winning multiple endorsements from MPs as well as from the trade union Unison.
Starmer married Victoria Alexander, a solicitor, in 2007, and has a son and daughter. He was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for "services to law and criminal justice" and is therefore entitled to be known as "Sir Keir Starmer". Although he accepted the knighthood, he prefers not to be called Sir.
- Appointed Queen's Counsel (QC) in 2002.
- Bar Council's Sydney Elland Goldsmith Award in 2005, for his outstanding contribution to pro bono work in challenging the death penalty.
- Appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2014 New Year Honours for "services to law and criminal justice".
- Sworn of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom on 19 July 2017.
- Elected Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 2019.
|21 July 2011||University of Essex||Doctor of University (D.U.)|
|16 July 2012||University of Leeds||Doctor of Laws (LL.D)|
|19 November 2013||University of East London||Doctor of University (D.U.)|
|19 December 2013||London School of Economics||Doctor of Laws (LL.D)|
|14 July 2014||University of Reading||Doctor of Laws (LL.D)|
|18 November 2014||University of Worcester||Doctor of University (D.U.)|
Starmer is the author and editor of several books about criminal law and human rights.
- Justice in error, ed. by Clive Walker and Keir Starmer (London: Blackstone, 1993), ISBN 1-85431-234-0
- Francesca Klug, Keir Starmer and Stuart Weir, The three pillars of liberty: political rights and freedoms in the United Kingdom (London: Routledge, 1996), ISBN 0-415-09641-3
- Conor Foley and Keir Starmer, Signing up for human rights: the United Kingdom and international standards (London: Amnesty International United Kingdom, 1998), ISBN 1-873328-30-3
- Miscarriages of justice: a review of justice in error, ed. by Clive Walker and Keir Starmer (London: Blackstone, 1999), ISBN 1-85431-687-7
- Keir Starmer, European human rights law: the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights (London: Legal Action Group, 1999), ISBN 0-905099-77-X
- Keir Starmer, Michelle Strange, and Quincy Whitaker, with Anthony Jennings and Tim Owen, Criminal justice, police powers and human rights (London: Blackstone, 2001), ISBN 1-84174-138-8
- Keir Starmer with Iain Byrne, Blackstone's human rights digest (London: Blackstone, 2001), ISBN 1-84174-153-1
- Keir Starmer and Jane Gordon, A report on the policing of the Ardoyne parades 12 July 2004 (Belfast: Northern Ireland Policing Board, 2004)
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "Starmer, Rt Hon. Sir Keir, (born 2 Sept. 1962), PC 2017; QC 2002; MP (Lab) Holborn and St Pancras, since 2015". Who's Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.43670.
- Moss, Stephen (21 September 2009). "Keir Starmer: 'I wouldn't characterise myself as a bleeding heart liberal . . .'". The Guardian. London.
- "People of Today". Debretts.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "Starmer, Rt Hon. Sir Keir, (born 2 Sept. 1962), PC 2017; QC 2002; MP (Lab) Holborn and St Pancras, since 2015 | WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO". www.ukwhoswho.com. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.001.0001/ww-9780199540884-e-43670. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- "Middle Temple". www.middletemple.org.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- "Keir Starmer interview". McSpotlight. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- Stephen Bates: "Profile: Keir Starmer QC" (1 August 2008), The Guardian
- Bates, Stephen (31 July 2008). "Profile: Keir Starmer QC". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Dodd, Vikram; Lewis, Paul (22 July 2010). "Ian Tomlinson death: police officer will not face criminal charges". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
- "DPP's statement on the decision to prosecute Simon Harwood". The Guardian. London. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- "Simon Harwood cleared of manslaughter". The Guardian. London. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- Walker, Peter (17 September 2012). "Ian Tomlinson case: PC Simon Harwood sacked for gross misconduct". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
- Settle, Michael (4 February 2012). "Huhne forced to resign as points court battle looms". The Herald. Glasgow.
- Keir Starmer QC, "Letter to the Daily Mail from CPS about the Chris Huhne case", The blog of the Crown Prosecution Service, (23 November 2011)
- Cohen, Nick (29 July 2012). "'Twitter joke' case only went ahead at insistence of DPP". The Observer. London. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- Branagh, Ellen (23 July 2013). "Stephen Lawrence barrister Alison Saunders to take over from Keir Starmer as new Director of Public Prosecutions". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Saunders to replace Starmer at DPP". Liverpool Daily Post. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Keir Starmer heads Labour's victim treatment review". BBC News. 28 December 2013.
- "Keir Starmer: Victims' law a real gear change to justice system". Politics Home. 1 January 2014. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014.
- "Keir Starmer to stand for Labour in Holborn and St Pancras". The Guardian. 13 December 2014.
- "Holborn & St. Pancras Parliamentary Constituency". BBC News. 8 May 2015.
- Matthew Weaver (15 May 2015). "Labour activists urge Keir Starmer to stand for party leadership". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Caroline Davies (17 May 2015). "Keir Starmer rules himself out of Labour leadership contest". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Wilkinson, Michael (13 September 2015). "Splits emerge as Jeremy Corbyn finalises Labour's shadow cabinet". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- UK Parliament. "Rt Hon Keir Starmer MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Keir Starmer resigns as shadow home office minister". ITV News. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
- "Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Sir Keir Starmer as Shadow Brexit Secretary and the Tories should be worried". politicalbetting.com. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Walker, Peter (24 July 2017). "Keir Starmer in talks for role with law firm that represented Gina Miller". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Labour says MPs are entitled to Brexit plan details". BBC News. 7 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Stewart, Heather (26 August 2018). "No-deal Brexit thrusts UK into 'legal vacuum', warns Keir Starmer". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- Keir Starmer, Shadow Brexit Secretary (speaker) (25 September 2018). 'Nobody is ruling out remain as an option': Keir Starmer at Labour's Brexit debate (Television). Guardian News via YouTube. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Labour's Sir Keir Starmer says EU free movement rules 'have got to be changed'". The Independent. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- Syal, Rajeev (9 October 2016). "Keir Starmer calls for immigration to be reduced". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- "Keir Starmer: Britain's last Remaining hope". POLITICO. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- Swinford, Steven (25 April 2017). "Labour's flagship vow to end free movement unravels as party says EU migrants with jobs can come to UK". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- "Keir Starmer enters Labour leadership contest". 4 January 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- Pickard, Jim (17 October 2016). "Keir Starmer: the Brexit opponent making Labour heard on Europe". Financial Times. London. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- Lamden, Tim (27 March 2015). "Keir Starmer: 'My mum's health battles have inspired me'". Hampstead & Highgate Express. London. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- "Crown Office". www.thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
- "Knighthood: former Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC". awards intelligence. 2 January 2014.
- "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 3.
- "The New Year Honours List 2014 – Higher Awards" (PDF). 30 January 2013.
- "Business Transacted and Orders Approved at The Privy Council Held by The Queen at Buckingham Palace on 19th July 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Keir Starmer - Honorary Fellow". St Edmund Hall. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Honorary Graduates - Profile: Keir Starmer QC". University of Essex. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
- O'Rourke, Tanya. "Honorary graduates". www.leeds.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Atwal, Kay. "Keir Starmer QC, awarded honorary doctorate by east London university". Newham Recorder. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Bennett, Dan. "LSE Honorary Degrees". www.lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Keir Starmer QC awarded an LSE Honorary Degree". www.lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Leading legal figure awarded Honorary Degree". University of Reading. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- [dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Keir Starmer.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Keir Starmer|
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
| Director of Public Prosecutions
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Holborn and St Pancras
| Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union