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  • Who is Sir Keir Starmer, Britain's next Prime Minister?

  • He has taken the Labour Party from the wilderness and back into government in less than five years.

  • But his own politics remain curiously undefined.

  • To his opponents, he is an empty suit who has ditched every political principle he's ever held.

  • Voters remain unsure what he stands for.

  • And there's the general sense that, well, he's just a bit boring.

  • But Starmer's life before politics suggests that beneath the surface may lie a more radical man.

  • If there's one thing Starmer wants you to know about his early life, it's this.

  • My dad was a toolmaker.

  • He was a toolmaker, yeah.

  • And my mum was a nurse in the NHS.

  • Starmer has made much of his working-class upbringing.

  • He was named by his Labour-supporting parents after Keir Hardie, the man who founded the Labour Party.

  • In 1982, he became the first in his family to go to university and later studied at Oxford, where he helped edit the Trotskyite Socialist Alternatives magazine.

  • We didn't actually sell many copies of this.

  • He went on to a high-flying career as a human rights lawyer, taking on a landmark case against McDonald's and defending prisoners facing the death penalty.

  • It was long rumoured that Mark Darcy, the taciturn barrister in the Bridget Jones novels, was based on him, although the series author has since denied it.

  • Thank you.

  • In 2008, he became director of public prosecutions, where he oversaw the conviction of terrorists and reformed the way the legal system treated rape victims.

  • Starmer's rise to the top of politics has been swift.

  • He became an MP in 2015, and less than a year later, he was appointed shadow Brexit secretary by their then Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

  • In that role, Starmer spearheaded the push for a second Brexit referendum.

  • The only way truly to settle this is to ask people, do you want to leave on these terms or would you rather remain?

  • And then, in 2020, he was elected leader on a promise to continue his predecessor's left-wing vision.

  • But since then, Starmer has changed tack.

  • He has ditched many of Corbyn's most radical policies.

  • Left-wingers say they have been purged, including Corbyn himself, who was suspended for downplaying the extent of antisemitism, and then kicked out.

  • Thank you very much.

  • Goodbye.

  • I don't want the words the Labour Party and antisemitism in the same sentence again as we go forward.

  • His cabinet-in-waiting is now mostly drawn from Labour's right.

  • So what does this socialist-turned-centrist really stand for?

  • It isn't easy to summarise Starmerism in a pithy slogan, but Starmer has been single-minded in his mission to turn Labour from a protest movement into a party of government.

  • That has meant scrapping anything that could turn off voters.

  • And while he may not be an ideologue, he is an institutionalist.

  • After years of political turmoil and constitutional chaos, he believes the key to getting Britain up and running again lies in moderate reform, political stability and competent government.

  • If the theme tune of Tony Blair's 1997 landslide was Things Can Only Get Better, then Starmer's is more Things Can Stop Getting Worse.

Who is Sir Keir Starmer, Britain's next Prime Minister?

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