|The Right Honourable
Sir Keir Starmer
MP PC KCB QC
|Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union|
6 October 2016
|Preceded by||Emily Thornberry|
|Director of Public Prosecutions|
1 November 2008 – 1 November 2013
|Appointed by||The Baroness Scotland of Asthal|
|Preceded by||Ken Macdonald|
|Succeeded by||Alison Saunders|
|Member of Parliament
for Holborn and St Pancras
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Frank Dobson|
2 September 1962 |
Southwark, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Victoria Alexander (m. 2007)|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds
St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC (born 2 September 1962) is a barrister, a Labour Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Previously he was the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He has prosecuted in numerous cases for the CPS during his career, while acting principally as a defence lawyer specialising in human rights issues.
Born in Southwark, Starmer was the second of four children of a toolmaker and a nurse. He was named after the founder of the Labour Party Keir Hardie. He passed the Eleven-Plus examination and gained entry to Reigate Grammar School, then a voluntary aided school. He studied Law at the University of Leeds and graduated with a first class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 1985. He then undertook postgraduate studies at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) degree in 1986.
Starmer became a barrister in 1987. He advised Helen Steel and David Morris in the McLibel case, which went to court in 1997. In an interview, he described the case as "very much a David and Goliath", and said that "There's an extremely good legal team acting for McDonalds at great expense and Dave and Helen have had to act for themselves with me as a sort of free back up whenever possible." He was also interviewed for McLibel, the documentary about the case directed by Franny Armstrong and Ken Loach. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2002, and was joint head of his chambers, Doughty Street Chambers.
He was a human rights advisor to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Association of Chief Police Officers. He is a member of the Foreign Secretary's Death Penalty Advisory Panel. In 2007, he was named "QC of the Year". While in office he was widely viewed to be favourable towards the Labour Party.
On 25 July 2008, the Attorney General, Patricia Scotland, named Starmer as the next head of the CPS, to take over from Sir Ken Macdonald, QC on 1 November 2008. Macdonald (now Lord Macdonald of River Glaven), himself a former defence lawyer, welcomed the appointment.
On 22 July 2010, Starmer announced the controversial decision not to prosecute the police officer Simon Harwood in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson resulting in accusations by Tomlinson's family of a police cover up.
On 3 February 2012, Starmer announced that the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne MP and his former wife, Vicky Pryce would be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice. Huhne became the first Cabinet minister in British history to be compelled to resign as a result of criminal proceedings. Starmer had previously stated in relation to the case that "[w]here there is sufficient evidence we do not shy away from prosecuting politicians".
In the summer of 2012 Nick Cohen, a journalist, published allegations that Starmer was personally responsible for the continued prosecution of Paul Chambers, a traveller who, frustrated at airport delays, had posted a joke about Doncaster Sheffield Airport on Twitter. In the case known as the "Twitter Joke Trial" Chambers had been convicted of sending a message "of a menacing character". The trial and conviction provoked widespread protest by free-speech activists, but the Crown Prosecution Service maintained a long-term opposition to Chambers' appeals. According to Chambers' friends, prosecutors had been willing to stop opposing the appeals, but Starmer had over-ruled his subordinates because he was "trying to save face by refusing to admit he was in the wrong." However the CPS said the decision was out of Starmer's hands as it was a crown court decision. 
In December 2013, the Labour Party announced that Starmer would lead an enquiry into changing the law to give further protection to victims in cases of rape and child abuse. On 28 December Starmer said to BBC News: "well, I'm back in private practice; I'm rather enjoying having some free time, and I'm considering a number of options".
Starmer was selected on 13 December 2014 as the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, following the decision of the sitting MP Frank Dobson to stand down. Starmer was elected at the 2015 general election with a majority of 17,048.
He was urged by activists to stand for Leader of the Labour Party at the 2015 leadership election, but he ruled out doing so, citing his lack of political experience. During the campaign to elect a new leader of the Labour Party, following the resignation of Ed Miliband, Keir Starmer backed Andy Burnham for the leadership. After Jeremy Corbyn was elected, Starmer was appointed as a Shadow Home Office Minister reporting to Burnham.
In September 2015, Starmer along with Tulip Siddiq and Catherine West wrote a letter to then-Prime Minister David Cameron seeking urgent action to address the refugee crisis due to the Syrian Civil War. Early in October 2016, he was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn to the Shadow Cabinet, as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
On 6 October 2016, Starmer was appointed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, replacing Emily Thornberry in this role. Starmer resigned from a consultancy position with the law firm specialising in human rights (Mishcon de Reya LLP) that acted for Gina Miller in bringing legal proceedings against the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Starmer has used his position as Shadow Secretary of State to question the government's "destination" for Britain outside the European Union, as well as calling for the government's Brexit plan to be released.
On 6 December 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the government would do this, in what was portrayed as a victory for Starmer. He has questioned whether the victory for "Leave" in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 was a mandate for a so-called "hard Brexit", which would see the UK leave the European Single Market and not just the Political union itself.
While Starmer was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for "services to law and criminal justice" and is therefore entitled to be known as "Sir Keir Starmer", he does not use the title. He told the Ham & High, a local newspaper in his constituency that "I've never liked titles" stating that "When I was DPP, everyone called me director and I said, 'Please don't call me director, call me Keir Starmer.' It's a very similar battle now."
Starmer is the author and editor of several books about criminal law and human rights.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Keir Starmer.|
|Director of Public Prosecutions
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Holborn and St Pancras
|Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
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