Keir Starmer is a British politician and former barrister who has been the Labour Party’s Leader and Opposition Leader since 2020. Since 2015, he has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Holborn and St Pancras. Starmer has been classified as being on the soft left of the Labour Party in terms of ideology.
Starmer was born in London and raised in Surrey, where he attended Reigate Grammar School, an elite state school that later became an independent school while he was a student. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Leeds in 1985 and a postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law degree from St Edmund Hall, Oxford, in 1986.
He grew up in the little Surrey town of Oxted. He was the second of four children born to nurse Josephine (née Baker) and toolmaker Rodney Starmer.
His mother was afflicted with Still’s illness.
His parents were followers of the Labour Party and called him after Keir Hardie, the party’s first parliamentary leader.
He passed the 11-plus exam and was accepted into Reigate Grammar School, a voluntary aided selective grammar school at the time.
While he was a student, it was turned into an independent fee-paying school in 1976, however he was excluded from paying fees.
Norman Cook, a musician with whom Starmer took violin lessons, Andrew Cooper, who went on to become a Conservative peer, and future conservative journalist Andrew Sullivan were among his classmates: according to Starmer, he and Sullivan were friends “Politics, religion, and everything else were fought over. It’s all there.”
Starmer was a member of the East Surrey Young Socialists when he was a teenager and was engaged in Labour politics.
He played the flute, piano, recorder, and violin as a young exhibitioner at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama until he was 18.
Starmer earned a first-class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Leeds in 1985, being the first member of his family to do so.
He studied postgraduate law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) from the University of Oxford in 1986.
Starmer was the editor of the radical periodical Socialist Alternatives from 1986 until 1987.
Is Keir Starmer a Marxist?
In the mid-1980s, Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer assisted in the establishment of a Marxist publication that criticised the Labour Party and urged for “radical” change.
Some Corbynites have treated the shadow Brexit secretary, who is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, with distrust because he is not sufficiently left-wing.
In a remark interpreted as directed at Sir Keir’s candidacy, Labour MP Ian Lavery warned against a return to “bland centrism.”
Sir Keir was a member of the “editing collective” that created the extreme left-wing publication Socialist Alternatives in 1986, shortly after earning a postgraduate law degree in Oxford.
The publication was harshly critical of Labour under Neil Kinnock,’ slamming the party’s leadership.