Home Europe From Lawyer To Knighthood To Prime Minister, The Rise Of Keir Starmer

From Lawyer To Knighthood To Prime Minister, The Rise Of Keir Starmer

“Change begins now. And it feels good, I have to be honest” a jubilant Keir Starmer smiled as supporters cheered on. And why not? He has delivered quite the knock-out punch to the Conservative Party, handing it its worst defeat in decades. But Keir Starmer has taken his time to get here and get his party ready for this stage.

In the last general election in 2019, Jeremy Corbyn was in-charge when Labour suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of the Conservatives.

Corbyn stepped aside and Keir Starmer was picked to lead the Labour Party in April 2020, at a time when Covid had shuttered people indoors. So much so his acceptance speech too was a virtual one.


Starmer was born into a working class family and is named after Labour’s founding father, Keir Hardie. He was a successful human rights lawyer and chief public prosecutor and was knighted in 2014 before he made the switch to full-time politics in his 50s.

He won his first MP election in 2015. He oversaw a complete overhaul of the Labour Party, moving it away from the Corbyn era and more towards the centre at a time the party was in an existential crisis.


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At the Labour Party convention in October 2023, Starmer was heckled by a protester who covered him with glitter. He rolled up his sleeves and continued, the glitter occasionally shining through on the cameras.

When a protester interrupted his speech during the campaign in June 2024, Starmer said, “We gave up on being a party of protest five years ago, we want to be a party of power.”

The bumbling Conservatives, who’ve hurtled from one controversy to the next, have come as an added advantage. The Labour Party went into this election, with a 20 point lead over the Conservatives even though Starmer himself has often been described as dull and not charismatic enough.

What he lacks in charm, he makes up in pragmatism and competence. It’s something he will be tested on as he inherits a litany of challenges whether it’s healthcare, education, immigration or the economy. Something he’s acutely aware of.


“A mandate like this comes with a great responsibility,” he told his supporters as the results gave him a handsome majority. “Our task is nothing less than renewing the ideas that hold this country together. I don’t promise you it will be easy. Changing a country is not like flicking a switch. It’s hard work. Patient work. Determined work. And we will have to get moving immediately.”

Starmer has just a £ 9 billion fiscal headroom, much less than what governments have had before him, so he will have to hit the ground running, as the honeymoon period after this historic win isn’t likely to last too long.