UK Elections | Keir Starmer: Who is the human rights lawyer who brought Labour back to power after 14 years?

UK Elections | Keir Starmer: Who is the human rights lawyer who brought Labour back to power after 14 years?
UK Elections | Keir Starmer: Who is the human rights lawyer who brought Labour back to power after 14 years?

Image source, Getty Images

Caption, Keir Starmer is 61 years old, married and has 2 children.
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  • Author, Writing
  • Role, BBC News World
  • 1 hour

Keir Rodney Starmer is set to become Britain’s new prime minister after leading the Labour Party to what is expected to be a landslide victory in the general election on July 4.

Under his leadership, the party, which had been shifting leftward over the past decade, has moved closer to the center of the political spectrum to attract more voters.

The move paid off and, after 14 years out of power, the Labour Party returned with a bang. The Conservatives of the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, suffered a resounding collapse.

But Starmer’s is not an ordinary story. In many ways, he is not your typical politician. In fact, he did not enter parliament until he was 50, after a successful career as a lawyer.

And unlike most MPs, He entered the House of Commons with a knighthood, which was awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014. in recognition of his role as Director of Public Prosecutions, the most senior criminal prosecutor in England and Wales.

Los Labour leader’s background as a senior human rights lawyer might suggest a privileged upbringing. But in reality this 61-year-old politician, the son of a toolmaker and a nurse, comes from a relatively modest background.

Starmer rarely misses an opportunity to describe himself as “working class.” This was emphasised in his verbal clashes with Rishi Sunak, the last Conservative prime minister, who is one of the richest politicians in the country.

Image source, Getty Images

Caption, He is a big football fan and is a supporter of Arsenal.

After school, he became the first member of his family to go to collegeHe first graduated in law from the University of Leeds and later completed his studies with a postgraduate degree at Oxford.

He specialized in human rights and his work took him to the Caribbean and Africa, where defended prisoners sentenced to death.

His years in London

His work on high-profile human rights cases even sparked rumors that he was the inspiration for the character of Mark Darcy, the formal but handsome lawyer from the novel and film “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and its sequels. However, the author, Helen Fielding, denied this in an interview.

In his early years in London, Starmer recalled living in “a seedy flat” above a brothel.

One of his roommates at the time, journalist Paul Vickers, He described him as a “big party animal”.

Image source, Getty Images

Caption, His wife, Victoria, keeps a low profile and has only given interviews on rare occasions.

His family life was not perfect. Starmer has said on several occasions that his Father was a cold and distant man, Although he acknowledged having learned from him “a sense of duty and a strong sense of pride and dignity in work.”

His mother suffered from Still’s disease for most of her life, an autoimmune condition that left her unable to speak or walk. As the condition worsened, doctors had to amputate one of her legs.

As for his wife, Starmer admitted that things did not start off well with her either. In an interview on ITV, the politician recalled how he met Victoria.

“I was taking a case to court and the outcome depended on whether the documents were accurate or not,” the Labour MP said.

“I asked my team who had written them and they told me that She was a lawyer named Victoriaso I said, ‘Let’s call her.'”

When he spoke to her, he questioned her about the documents but before the conversation ended he heard a comment from her.

‘Who the hell does he think he is?’ I heard. “And then he hung up on me,” she said on television. “And I had no choice but to completely agree,” she added.

To make up for it, Starmer asked her out to a pub. That was in the early 2000s and the couple married in 2007. They have two children.

How did he come to power?

Image source, Getty Images

Caption, Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, the last two Labour leaders, have had serious disagreements.

Following the Brexit vote, which ended with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, Starmer was the Labour Party official for four years in charge of everything related to this problematic exit from the bloc.

The politician, who even came out in favour of a second referendum, had throughout a conflictive relationship with his predecessor at the head of the party, Jeremy Corbyn, who was linked to the left wing of Labour.

Following Labour’s heavy defeat in the 2019 general election, which entrenched the charismatic conservative politician Boris Johnson in power, Starmer stood as candidate to lead his party and won in April 2020.

In his victory speech, he promised to lead the party “into a new era with confidence and hope,” but there would still be disappointments along the way.

In 2021, the Conservatives snatched the seat of Hartlepool from Labour, a town in the north-east of the United Kingdom that had never had a Conservative MP for that constituency.

That meant a major blow to Starmer’s efforts to regain support in traditional Labour heartlands.

The result was so bad that, according to one biography, the Labour leader He informed his staff that he was going to resign because what had happened showed that the party was going backwards and he saw it as a personal rejection. He said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the results.

“It was a difficult few hours,” one adviser said.

Image source, Getty Images

Caption, Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson – all from the Conservative Party – were Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

In the end, he did not resign, but what happened caused a rethinking of policies and a reorganization of its team at the highest level.

The focus was firmly on winning back Labour voters lost to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in the former Labour heartland – the so-called Red Wall.

But there were also internal reshuffles. Starmer suspended his predecessor in office, Jeremy Corbyn, amid an investigation into anti-Semitism within the party.

This meant that Corbyn was unable to stand as a Labour candidate for Parliament in this general election.

Purge Reviews

Other Labour politicians also claim they have been prevented from standing as candidates and point to a purge of the left within the party carried out by Starmer, who is accused of aligning himself with another historic Labour leader: former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Like Blair, Starmer has tried to allay the fears that Labour generates in the most conservative sectors of society.

For example, he assured voters that Labour will not go on an unfunded spending spreeThis has meant diluting or discarding some of its most radical proposals.

In February, He abandoned one of his biggest commitments spending: investing £28 billion ($35 billion) a year on green policies.

This has helped him to be attractive to a broader electorate, but also to be seen by other voters as a “lukewarm” politician.

Starmer has often been accused of not getting excited about anything, although the Labour leader replied: “There is enormous passion in me, but “Passion comes in different shapes and sizes” for each person.

In the coming days, the United Kingdom will learn more about this Labour politician when he moves into 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s office.

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