Who is Keir Starmer, new U.K. prime minister?

Keir Starmer

LONDON — With the election of new Prime Minister Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is once again in control of the United Kindom government. But who is Starmer, the man who took back the government that had been under the direction of the Conservative Party for more than a decade?

Starmer is a human rights lawyer who has defended vegan anarchists and prosecuted terrorists, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported.

He campaigned on a platform that included “wealth creation” winning over capitalists and a slogan based on change and while the newspaper said he had been an anti-monarchist he has also been knighted.

Starmer on Friday was formally invited to form his government by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer and King Charles III

The meeting came after now-former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak resigned from his position after Starmer’s party’s landslide win, the BBC reported. Sunak also said he will eventually resign as the Conservative Party leader.

Sunak had only been in office for less than two years. Before him, Liz Truss was on the job for just over a month after replacing Boris Johnson, who served from 2019 to 2022.

The last Labour Party Prime Minister was Gordon Brown who served from 2007 to 2010.

“Now our country has voted decisively for change and a return of politics to public service,” Starmer said, shortly after taking control on Friday, the BBC reported.

It had been rumored that he was the basis for the “Bridget Jones” book character Mark Darcy character played by Colin Firth, but the fictional human rights lawyer, was not based on Starmer, the Post reported.

“He is very, very driven, quite relentless,” Tom Baldwin, a journalist and Starmer biographer, told the newspaper. “He has an oversized view of his capacity to bring change. He is not going to inspire people with big speeches. What he might do is fix things.”

In an Instagram post shortly after winning, Starmer wrote, “We said we will stop the chaos. And we will.”

While it is difficult to pin down exactly who Starmer is, here’s what we do know.

He is married to Victoria Starmer, an employee in the country’s health system NHS, working in occupational health, and has two teenagers. He hasn’t released their names. He also has a cat named Jojo.

Starmer, 61, comes from a working-class family. His mother was a nurse while his father was a toolmaker. He shared stories of his parents’ bills not being paid and the phone being disconnected. The family was not able to travel, the Post reported. He came from Surrey, outside of London, The New York Times reported.

But he was able to succeed and despite the financial challenges, had test scores that got him into an elite high school and then on to prestigious universities Leeds, being the first person from his family to graduate college, and eventually Oxford to study law.

Starmer was elected to Parliament in 2025 and took over the head of the Labour Party from Jeremy Corbyn in 2020, promising not to raise taxes on working families and pledging to support the country’s military, the Times reported. He also brought an end to antisemitism that had been prominent in the party under Corbyn’s control. Starmer’s wife is Jewish and despite the Prime Minister being an atheist, the family frequently holds Shabbat dinners, the Times and Post reported.

Starmer, speaking shortly after taking control of the government in front of 10 Downing Street, said, according to the BBC, “Whether you voted Labour or not - in fact especially if you did not - I say to you directly my government will serve you.

“Politics can be a force for good. We will show that.

“We have changed the Labour Party, returned it to service - that is how we will govern.

“Country first, party second.”

He called public service “a privilege,” and that the government “treat every single person in the country with respect.”

Citing his upbringing, Starmer said that his country needs affordable homes and schools so “working-class families like mine can build their lives around.”

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