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Who is Keir Starmer?

Britain's Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer addresses the start of the National Annual Women's Conference, ahead of the start of Britain's Labour Party annual conference, in Liverpool, Britain, October 7, 2023.

Britain's Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer addresses the start of the National Annual Women's Conference, ahead of the start of Britain's Labour Party annual conference, in Liverpool, Britain, October 7, 2023.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

Keir Starmer will likely become the UK’s prime minister not long after the July 4 election. Over nine years in parliament, he’s helped shift the Labour Party from the ideological rigidity of theJeremy Corbyn era onto a path and platform that can win enough centrist voters to take power.

On Thursday, Starmer introducedhis party’s latest manifesto with a pledge to help Britonscreate wealth: “If you take nothing else away from this today, let it be this,” he told a mostly enthusiastic audience. “We are pro-business and pro-worker. A plan for wealth creation.”

With its de-emphasis on big spending initiatives, some will compare Starmer to former Labour PM Tony Blair. But Blair was a sunnier and more charismatic figure. Starmer, who left work as a human rights lawyer to pursue politics in 2015, must make a virtue of his reputation for seriousness, caution, and a focus on practical means for attaining tangible gains. His own working-class roots help him connect with working-class voters.

As he admitted in arecent interview, “I’ve achieved less as a politician than I have at any other time in my life.” That’s why, he says, he wants to lead a government rather than the opposition.

Starmer is also the biggest beneficiary of voter exhaustion with 14 years of Conservative Party dominance. As a result, we’ll soon know even more about him.

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