Sir Keir Starmer’s political views: What are the new Labour leader’s policies?

Sir Keir Starmer has been elected as the new leader of the Labour Party following Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour Party leader (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Sir Keir, 57, said it was the ‘honour and privilege of my life’ to be elected for the role.

With so much else going on in the world at the moment (here’s looking at you, coronavirus) it would be well within the realm of possibility that you’d need a quick reminder of the new Labour Leader’s politics and policy…

What are Sir Keir Starmer’s political views and policies?

In a video statement following his win, Sir Keir said his mission as leader is to ensure Labour is seen as ‘a force for good and a force for change’.

The former shadow Brexit secretary also brought up the anti-semitism allegations which have plagued the Labour Party and caused much division among MPs, vowing to ‘tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of our Jewish members.’Ad

Prior to his leadership win, Sir Keir promised to reverse corporation tax cuts, get rid of university tuition fees, renationalise the mail, water, rail and energy industries, raise taxes for the top 5% of earners, and get rid of the House of Lords with a view to replacing it with an elected body.

He’s also said he would seek to abolish the universal credit reforms, vowed to give trade unions a larger role in forming policies, and would see that EU citizens keep their freedom of movement.

However it’s more than likely that his first few months as leader will be focused largely on the current coronavirus pandemic. 

As for his cabinet, his leadership opponents Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy have both been promised seats.

Sir Keir has been the MP for Holborn and St Pancras since 2015, having been re-elected in the General Election in 2019.

When it comes to Brexit, the new Labour Leader voted to remain and was in favour of a second Referendum. He has said he would ensure EU nationals have the right to vote here in the UK.

While having a reputation for being more centrist than his predecessor, Sir Keir has previously said that the party should not ‘oversteer’ to the centre or right.

On the subject of his political leaning, he previously said on Sky News Ridge on Sunday: ‘I’m often challenged, “Are you a Blairite, a Corbynista?”

‘I don’t need someone else’s name tattooed on my head to make a decision or hug a historical figure.’Ad

He added: ‘I can think for myself, I don’t need to hug Jeremy Corbyn, I don’t need to hug Tony Blair or anybody else to make a decision.’

keir starmer
Sir Keir Starmer at a hustings event for Labour Leader (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Born in to nurse Josephine and toolmaker Rod Starmer in Southwark, Sir Keir started out as a lawyer, qualifying as a barrister in 1987, going on to specialise in human rights issues and being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

He worked as Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 until 2013, and became a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2014 New Year Honours for ‘services to law and criminal justice’.

He was then sworn in as a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council three years later in 2017.

On the subject of being called ‘Sir Keir Starmer’, he told Ham & High back in 2015: ‘I’ve never liked titles. 

‘When I was DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], everyone called me director and I said, “Please don’t call me director, call me Keir Starmer.” It’s a very similar battle now.’

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Aidan Milan