| Sir Keir Rodney Starmer |
|Born||Keir Rodney Starmer|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds, St Edmund Hall (Oxford)|
|Member of||Trilateral Commission|
Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is a UK politician and former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Director of Public Prosecutions, where he was central in making sure the case against Julian Assange continued. He has been a Labour Party Member of Parliament since the 2015 General Election, and on 6 October 2016 he was appointed Shadow Brexit Secretary by Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer soon became part of the effort to oust Corbyn as Labour leader.
On 4 April 2020, following the 2020 Labour Party leadership contest, Sir Keir Starmer was elected Leader of the Labour Party to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. On 17 April 2020, it was revealed that Starmer had received a £50,000 donation from pro-Israel lobbyist Trevor Chinn – information which was not disclosed until after polls had closed in the leadership election.
- 1 Background
- 2 Career
- 3 Director of Public Prosecutions
- 4 "Chicken Coup"
- 5 Keith is a disingenuous phoney
- 6 Former Israel spy on his social media team
- 7 Related Documents
- 8 References
Keir Starmer was born in 1962 in Southwark, London. His father, Rod Starmer, was a toolmaker, and his mother, Josephine Starmer (née Baker), was a nurse. Starmer’s parents were both staunch Labour supporters, and they named Keir – their second son – after the first leader of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie.
In contrast to his three siblings who all went the the local Comprehensive school, Starmer passed his 11-plus exam and gained entry into Reigate Grammar school. Starmer then studied law at Leeds University, where he graduated with a first-class Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1985, before winning a place at Oxford where he graduated with a Bachelor of Civic Law (BCL) in 1986.
A year after graduating from St Edmund Hall (Oxford), Starmer became a Barrister at the Middle Temple. He was then appointed as a member of the Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 2002, and moved to Doughty Street Chambers the following year.
Starmer’s legal work primarily consisted of human rights issues, with one of his most notable successes being the so-called “McLibel” case where he assisted two environmental activists, Helen Steel and David Morris, in a highly contentious case brought against them by the US fast-food giants, McDonald’s.
McDonald’s had accused Steel and Morris of libel after they produced and publicised a factsheet which contained numerous claims that were highly critical of the company’s ethics and practices. Both were refused legal aid in order to defend themselves, but received substantial pro-bono assistance from a number of lawyers, including Starmer.
During the trial, McDonald’s initially argued that all the claims in Steel and Morris’s pamplet were false, but, after almost ten years of legal wranglings, a number of the claims in the document were eventually proved to be true – including the claims that McDonalds did “exploit children“, that they were “culpably responsible” for unnecessary cruelty to animals, and that the company were “antipathetic” to the unionisation of workers and helped to “depress wages in the catering trade“.
In addition to his role in the McLibel case, Starmer undertook substantial legal work challenging the death penalty in the Caribbean and Africa, and he also worked as a human rights advisor to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland.
Following years of successful legal work in the field of human rights, and after being named QC of the Year in 2007, Starmer was named as the new Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 2008.
Director of Public Prosecutions
During his role as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) (2008 to 2013), Keir Starmer oversaw the prosecution and conviction of a number of MPs and Lords who abused their taxpayer-funded parliamentary expenses, and the successful retrial of the killers of Stephen Lawrence.
All of Keir Starmer's predecessors as DPP received knighthoods for the role, and he was no different. He was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for "services to law and criminal justice" and is therefore entitled to be known as "Sir Keir Starmer".
Starmer failed to bring charges against Jimmy Savile for paedophilia. The decision was made despite the Crown Prosecution Service receiving substantial evidence of his crimes from witnesses and victims several years before Savile died in 2011.
In December 2010, as Julian Assange prepared to appear at London's High Court to hear an appeal against a lower court's decision to release him on bail, Keir Starmer was asked to comment on reports in The Guardian newspaper that Sweden has "not got a view at all on bail". Starmer told BBC radio:
- "The general position and the nature of the arrangement is absolutely clear. The Crown Prosecution Service acts here as agents of the government seeking extradition, in this case the Swedish government. These proceedings are brought as agents of the Swedish government."
A spokeswoman for the Swedish prosecutor's office, Karin Rosander, told AFP the decision to oppose bail was "a decision of the British prosecutor and that is what the British prosecutor's office has confirmed to me."
According to Freedom of Information searches by the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, Sweden tried to drop the Assange case in 2011, but a CPS official in London told the Swedish prosecutor not to treat it as “just another extradition”.
Keir Starmer has also encountered criticism over the CPS’s decision to release the prolific serial rapist, John Worboys, from prison, as well as the decision not to pursue 75 further allegations made against him. However, in 2018, the CPS issued a statement claiming the Starmer had no role in either of the decisions regarding Worboys.
Ian Tomlinson was brutally attacked by police officer Simon Harwood in 2009. Harwood hit Tomlinson, who was walking with his hands in his pockets in the other direction, across the back of the legs with a baton. Tomlinson was unable to break his fall, causing fatal internal bleeding to his liver shortly afterwards. Fifteen months later, Starmer announced that Harwood would not be prosecuted. The CPS proceeded a few months later when an inquest jury found that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.
In 2011, Starmer was in court to witness the collapse of a trial of environmental activists after the involvement of undercover police officer Mark Kennedy was revealed. The case began the “Spycops” scandal, which has since exposed the extensive, long-term infiltration of left-wing and environmentalist groups by police agents, who grossly abused the rights of campaigners and perverted the course of justice in countless court cases. The CPS is suspected of having been closely involved.
As DPP, Starmer refused to pursue the matter. Referring to an in-house CPS investigation, he accepted the manifestly untrue: “If Sir Christopher Rose had found systemic problems, then I would quite accept perhaps a retrospective look at all the cases. But he didn’t, he found individual failings.”
Protection of MI5 and MI6
Under his direction, the CPS refused to prosecute MI5 and MI6 personnel in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The agents were suspected of participating in CIA extraordinary rendition programmes and the torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.
In 2013, after Tory Chancellor George Osborne launched a gutter-press campaign against “benefits cheats,” Starmer issued guidelines for the CPS allowing those accused of improperly drawing social security to be charged under the Fraud Act. This allowed for sentences of up to 10 years. He also removed the financial threshold on sending cases to Crown Court, meaning even the most trivial “offences” could be punished with long-term jail time.
Following the London riots in 2012 and the rubber-stamp sentencing of over 1,000 young people, Starmer praised the efforts to rush defendants through the courts: “For me it was the speed that I think may have played some small part in bringing the situation back under control.” He visited Highbury Magistrates Court in North London in the early hours of the morning to boost the morale of the prosecutors and praise their efficiency.
During the infamous so-called “Chicken Coup”, less than a year after the Labour membership had handed Jeremy Corbyn a massive mandate to lead the party, numerous Labour Shadow Cabinet Ministers instigated co-ordinated resignations from the front bench in a deeply cynical attempt to remove him as leader.
In his resignation letter dated 27 June 2016, Keir Starmer – who was a Shadow Immigration Minister at the time – essentially claimed that because a lot of other Shadow Ministers had resigned, he decided to resign too. In the opening paragraph of Starmer’s letter, he claims that he initially “respected the mandate” that Labour members had given to Jeremy Corbyn to lead the party.
Starmer then uses two different excuses for his decision to disregard the democratic will of Labour members: claiming that the party needed a “louder voice” regarding Brexit, and that Mr Corbyn’s position was “untenable” because so many Shadow Ministers had resigned.
During the 2016 "Chicken Coup", the right thing to do would have clearly been to trust the decision of Labour members, rather than an overwhelmingly right-wing and detached Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), and support the democratically elected leader of the party. Had the PLP been united, Labour may well have been in a position to gain the few thousands extra votes necessary to have formed a government in the UK/2017 General Election campaign.
Unfortunately, Starmer’s willingness to disregard clear democratic decisions in favour of what he thinks is right is not an isolated incident, with the Shadow Brexit Secretary becoming the architect of Labour’s decision to change their Brexit policy from respecting the result in 2017 to supporting a second referendum in 2019 – a policy regarded as the main reason that the party lost huge numbers of seats in their pro-Leave heartlands to the Tories in December’s General Election.
Whilst Labour may still have lost the election had they continued with their 2017 Brexit policy to respect the Brexit vote, they would unquestionably have been far closer to the Conservative Party in terms of votes – with the only genuine question being whether the Lib Dems would have been able to charge through the middle on their pro-Remain platform.
Moreover, at the UK/2019 General Election, the right thing to do – electorally speaking – would have been to continue to support the democratic decision of the British people regarding the Brexit vote. Labour’s decision to support a second referendum is clearly not the only reason for their loss, but it was certainly a huge factor in the sheer scale of it – and Starmer was crucial in pushing the party towards it.
Keith is a disingenuous phoney
On 7 January 2021, Bevan Boy tweeted:
- Keith will not now ever change my view of him. The damage has been done. This isn't a blip or change of direction. Starmer is a disingenuous phoney. An establishment make weight worse even than Blair. I have no faith or trust in the man or his shadow cabinet. That won't change!
Sir Keir hired a former Israel spy to work in his social media team. Assaf Kaplan was hired as a "social media listener", and worked for the infamous 8200 cyber unit of the Israeli intelligence services. Although Israeli citizens are subject to mandatory conscription into the Israeli army, the duration of national service is only two and a half years. Kaplan served in Israeli intelligence for nearly five years, twice the normal conscription period
|Document:BBC Panorama Investigation Into Labour Antisemitism Omitted Key Evidence and Parts of Labour’s Response||Article||22 July 2020||Justin Schlosberg||The fact that the Labour Party is now settling libel cases brought by both John Ware and the Labour 'whistleblowers' is remarkable, not least because there is meant to be an ongoing internal inquiry into the leaked internal report, whose findings have now effectively been prejudged. But I’ve been told this will cost the party close to half a million in damages and costs.|
|Document:Bristol West CLP condemns suspension of Corbyn||Article||10 November 2020||SKWAWKBOX||Labour’s hierarchy has banned CLPs from debating or voting on Corbyn’s suspension or the EHRC report and some Regional Directors have blocked attempts to do so. It seems Bristol West members hold their democracy and their former party leader in too high a regard to toe the line.|
|Document:How Keir Starmer Sabotaged Rebecca Long-Bailey||Article||26 June 2020||Ronan Burtenshaw||Rebecca Long-Bailey’s approach to schools reopening had been entirely vindicated: she backed teachers and their unions as they changed the political terrain and forced the Tory government into a concession. This was politics in the best traditions of the labour movement but was anathema to Sir Keir Starmer.|
|Document:How top Labour officials plotted to bring down Jeremy Corbyn||Article||16 April 2020||Jonathan Cook||The stench of cover-up is already in the air. Keir Starmer's Labour needs to come clean and admit that its most senior officials defrauded hundreds of thousands of party members, and millions more supporters, who voted for a fairer, kinder Britain.|
|Document:Jeremy Corbyn’s Opponents Burned the House Down to Stop Him - Now Keir Starmer Is King of the Ashes||Article||25 July 2020||Daniel Finn||By sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey on a trumped-up pretext, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer has set the seal on a drastic shift to the right for the Labour Party. That shift comes just as the key arguments by Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents to justify a break with his left leadership have been falling apart in the face of overwhelming evidence.|
|Document:Julian Assange Must be Freed, Not Betrayed||Article||18 February 2020||John Pilger||Sarah Ferguson's interview made no mention of a leaked document, revealed by WikiLeaks, called 'Libya Tick Tock', prepared for Hillary Clinton, which described her as the central figure driving the destruction of the Libyan state in 2011. This resulted in 40,000 deaths, the arrival of ISIS in North Africa and the European refugee and migrant crisis.|
|Document:Keir Starmer's ‘antisemitism’ sacking is a signal that Israel is safe in his hands||Article||29 June 2020||Jonathan Cook||Crackdown by UK Labour leader on left-wing rival will subdue critics of Israel in his party ahead of Israel's annexation move|
|Document:Labour's next leader has already betrayed the left||blog post||21 February 2020||Jonathan Cook||The next Leader of the Labour Party is already a prisoner to the "institutional antisemitism" narrative. That means their hands are chained not only to support for Israel, but to the reactionary politics in which Israel as a Jewish state makes sense – a worldview that embraces its style of ethnic, chauvinist, militaristic, segregationist politics.|
|Document:Letter to Sir Keir from a newly resigned member of the Labour Party||Letter||8 April 2020||Bronagh Wilson||The Labour Party is now dead, it has ceased to be, it is bereft of life. You Sir Keir and your fellow travellers disgust me and it is time you PASOKed right off!.|
|Document:Starmer’s Mortal Wound On The Soul Of The Labour Party||blog post||30 October 2020||Rachael Swindon||Starmer clearly believes he has now firmly established his own political identity and laid the foundations for the transformation of Labour’s electoral prospects – in the mould of Kinnock and Blair. It may be that he has simply destroyed his reputation for moral and intellectual integrity – and inflicted a mortal wound on the soul of his party.|
|Document:That Leaked Labour Party Report||blog post||20 April 2020||Craig Murray||That Leaked Labour Party Report proves conclusively that Sam Matthews’ allegations of unwarranted interference from Corbyn’s office to block anti-semitism action are malicious lies.|
|Document:The EHRC’s report into Labour antisemitism is the real ‘political interference’||blog post||7 November 2020||Jonathan Cook||It is instructive to compare the certainty with which the EHRC treats Councillor Pam Bromley’s ambiguous remarks as irrefutable proof of antisemitism in Labour with its complete disregard for unmistakably antisemitic comments from Boris Johnson, the man actually running the country. That lack of concern is shared, of course, by the establishment media and Jewish leadership organisations.|
|Document:The attack on Jeremy Corbyn is baseless – there is nothing to support it in the EHRC report||Article||29 October 2020||Chris Nineham||Jeremy Corbyn has a record of opposing antisemitism and all forms of racism that are second to none. It was in fact precisely his campaigning and principled approach to politics that got him elected as leader of the party in the first place.|
|Document:There is no future for Labour in bureaucratic centrism||Article||11 November 2020||Ian Lavery||Whilst many in the media and party establishments are keen to turn back the clock to the bureaucratic centrism, progressives energised on both sides of the Atlantic, whether by Corbyn or Sanders, will define our future politics.|
|Document:UK Labour party teeters on brink of civil war over antisemitism||Article||27 July 2020||Jonathan Cook||Labour Party member Mark Howell is suing former General Secretary Iain McNicol for “breach of contract” and is demanding that those named in the leaked report be expelled from the party (see "Mark Howell for Justice": https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mark-howell-for-justice/).|
|Document:Whatever happened to ‘due process’?||Article||21 November 2020||Hilary Wise||Starmer’s reaction suggests he will continue to pursue a course which he somehow sees as politically expedient. History tells us it risks leading the party into the most dangerous kind of authoritarianism.|
|Document:Who is the new UK Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer?||Article||7 April 2020||Thomas Scripps||Jeremy Corbyn spent the best part of five years straddling a popular movement against austerity and war. The fruit of his labour is the election of a backroom state functionary to the Labour leadership. Sir Keir Starmer will make a fitting figurehead for the party’s final descent into political oblivion.|
- "Appointed Shadow Brexit Secretary by Jeremy Corbyn"
- "Labour leadership: Phillips and Nandy secure nominations"
- "Congratulations to @Keir_Starmer, the new Leader of the Labour Party!"
- "Keir Starmer received £50,000 donation from pro-Israel lobbyist in leadership bid"
- Nina Goswami: "Keir Starmer QC appointed DPP"
- Frances Gibb: "Human rights lawyer Keir Starmer named as new prosecution service chief"
- "Why Sir Keir Starmer was knighted: How the Labour leadership contender earned his title – and what he has said about it"
- "Sweden had 'no say' in Assange bail appeal"
- Document:Julian Assange Must be Freed, Not Betrayed
- "CPS statement on John Worboys"
- "Labour Leadership Election 2020 Candidate Profile: Keir Starmer"
- "Keith is a disingenuous phoney"