Starmer, Keir Sir

How old is Keir Starmer?

Sir Keir Starmer was born in 1962.  He turns sixty on 2nd September 2022.

Starmer was born in Southwark. His father was a toolmaker and his mother was a nurse. In later life, Starmer’s mother was diagnosed with Still’s disease, an incurable autoimmune condition.

Coming from a Labour family, Sir Keir Starmer was named after Keir Hardie, the founder and first leader of the Labour Party (1906-08).

Why is Keir Starmer a Sir?

Sir Keir Starmer was knighted for his “services to law and criminal justice“.  Full details of his knighthood and what he thinks of it can be read here.

Why is Keir Starmer a Sir?

Keir Starmer – Education

Growing up in Surrey, Sir Keir Starmer passed the 11+ exam and attended Redhill Grammar School. Amongst his contemporaries at school was the musician Norman Cook, otherwise known as ‘Fat Boy Slim’.

Starmer then graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Leeds in 1985, before moving onto post-graduate study at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University.

In June 2021, after initially claiming he spent his university days in the library, Starmer admitted to Piers Morgan that he had had a ‘very good time at university’.  Starmer refused to answer Morgan’s repeated questioning as to whether this had included taking drugs.

Keir Starmer – Legal career

Keir Starmer began his legal career as a barrister focusing on human rights law. Among the many cases that Starmer was involved with were the legal battles to get rid of the death penalty in the Caribbean and Africa, and the famous McLibel case involving MacDonalds.

In 2005, Starmer persuaded the House of Lords that evidence obtained by torture should be inadmissible in court.

In 2008, Starmer was named the new head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).  During his time as DPP, the CPS prosecuted the two men accused of murdering 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence.  However during the same period, the CPS has been criticized for failing to effectively prosecute the TV entertainer Jimmy Saville.  Starmer was said not to be directly involved in the case.

After standing down from his role at the CPS in 2013, Starmer refused to deny the possibility of entering politics – and he was chosen to stand as a Labour candidate the following year.

Sir Keir Starmer was knighted for his previous work as Director of Public Prosecutions in the 2014 New Years Honours list.

Keir Starmer – Political Career

Sir Keir Starmer was a socialist in his youth. At the age of 32, he wrote an article in Socialist Lawyer, in which he said “Karl Marx was, of course, right” about the futility of trying to bring about change through abstract declarations of fundamental rights.

Starmer was first elected as the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015. He was reelected in 2019 with a majority of 27,763.

Starmer was comparatively late to enter politics, doing so at the age of 52. Starmer thus entered the House of Commons at an age that was not dissimilar to that of Tony Blair when the latter ceased to become labour leader.

Following his election to the House of Commons, Starmer was soon appointed shadow Minister for Immigration, before resigning in 2016 in protest at Corbyn’s leadership.  Starmer judged at the time. that it was ‘simply untenable now to suggest we can offer an effective opposition without a change of leader’.

Following the 2016 ‘No Confidence’ vote and Corbyn’s victory in the subsequent leadership election, Corbyn appointed Starmer as shadow Brexit Secretary. This placed him at the heart Labour’s front bench during the tumultuous years of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Starmer had backed ‘Remain’ in the 2016 referendum and he focused his efforts on pushing for government transparency during the Brexit process.  Starmer endorsed a ‘second referendum’ policy at the 2018 Labour Party conference in Liverpool. This position then became Labour Party policy for the 2019 General Election.

Leader of the Opposition

Following Labour’s defeat at the 2019 General Election, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party. Starmer soon declared his candidacy for the role and quickly assumed the position of frontrunner.

During the labour leadership election of 2020, Sir Keir pledged to unite the Labour Party and also ‘retain the radicalism of the last four years’. He also vowed to unite the party and end anti-Semitism within it.

Starmer went on to win the contest on 4 April 2020 handily – with 56.2% of the vote in the first round.

Having become leader during the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, in a virtual speech Starmer said he would refrain from ‘scoring party political points’ and that he planned to ‘engage constructively with the government’.

Soon after becoming leader, Starmer sacked his former leadership rival, Rebecca Long-Bailey, from the shadow Cabinet. This followed accusations of antisemitism directed at the former shadow Secretary of State for Education.

Starmer also suspended his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, over the former Labour party leader’s response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into anti-semitism in the party.

Since his election, Starmer has slowly increased his grip on the Labour leadership. Running up to the 2021 Labour party conference, and in the face of sluggish opinion poll ratings, Starmer was constantly asked in the media about his position. This speculation reduced significantly as Labour improved its opinion poll ratings with voters in 2022.

In the spring of 2022, Sir Keir Starmer was being investigated by Durham police in relaiton to claims he drank beer and attended a 2021 gathering that was said to have been prohibited under then lockdown rules. Sir Keir denies such claims and has stated that he will resign if he is ever issued a fixed penalty fine by the Durham constabulary for a breach of covid rules.

How much does Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer earn?

In 2020 Keir Starmer earned £144,649 a year as Leader of the Opposition. This was comprised of his MPs salary of £79,468, and then an additional increment for his role as leader of the opposition.

During his first year in Parliament, the Register of Members Interests showed Sir Keir Starmer to have earned considerable sums from outside legal work. In 2015/2016 this legal work yielded Sir Keir just under £200,000.

Is Sir Keir Starmer married?

Starmer married solicitor Victoria Alexander in 2007 and the couple have two children.

In 2020, Starmer was voted Britain’s second sexiest MP, losing out in the contest, to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Keir Starmer height

Sir Keir Starmer is 5ft 8 inches tall.  That makes him 1 inch taller than the prime minister Boris Johnson.

Is Sir Keir Starmer married?

Keir Starmer – Things you may not know

Starmer has played football for much of his life at an amateur level .  He supports Premier League side Arsenal. As a player, he has been variously described as a ‘midfield general’ with a silky left food.  In June 2021, Starmer told Piers Morgan that if he encountered Boris Johnson on the football field, he would in all likelihood, ‘knock him over’.

Keir Starmer is a vegetarian. Starmer believes being vegetarian is ‘better for yourself and for the environment’. If he entered Downing Street, Starmer would become Britain’s first ever vegetarian prime minister.

Social media

Twitter – @Keir_Starmer

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