I’m a husband, father, and former Chief Prosecutor. My entire career has been about securing justice and change for those that need it.
From representing people on death row as a human rights lawyer, to working on setting up the Northern Ireland Police Board in the wake of the Good Friday agreement, to making the law work for victims as Chief Prosecutor. I am determined to make sure organisations work for the people they are supposed to serve.
It was an honour to be elected leader of the Labour Party in 2020, to continue this work.
Hear more about Keir's plans for Britain.
I grew up in a small town called Oxted, in Surrey. My dad worked as a toolmaker in a factory, and my mum was a nurse for the NHS.
Like many families, we faced challenges. My mum battled a rare, severe illness for all her life. I spent lots of my childhood seeing her go into hospital, where my father would always be at her side.
Despite the difficulties we faced, I was hugely influenced by my mother’s courage and determination to live her life despite her illness. It also gave me a deep gratitude for our NHS.
At school I worked hard to sit the 11-plus and passed, then going to the local grammar school. When I was 18 years old, I got a place at Leeds University to study law, becoming the first in my family to go to university. The hard work was all worth it to see how proud my parents were at my graduation.
Football has run through my veins since I was small boy. To this day I still play every Sunday with friends. I would say I’m a box-to-box midfield general, although my teammates may have different views. I watch how it’s really done, by watching Arsenal at the Emirates. As a lifelong fan, it’s a pleasure to now take my children and see the joy they also get from sport.
Standing up for working people
After I qualified as a lawyer in 1987, I began work as a barrister.
I spent a lot of my time providing free legal advice defending people against the powerful, working on high-profile cases and taking on fights against the odds with Shell and McDonald’s. And I worked with the National Union of Mineworkers to prevent the Tories’ pit closures.
From private practice I moved to Northern Ireland, spending five years as the legal advisor to the new Northern Ireland Policing Board. The board was an important part of bringing communities together following the Good Friday Agreement. I’m proud to have contributed to making sure it worked in the interests of the people it served.
It was during this time that I met my wife Victoria, who works for the NHS. We married in 2007 and have two children.
In 2008, I became Director of Public Prosecutions. It was quite the shift to go from running small teams to running the Crown Prosecution Service and leading its thousands of employees. During that time there were big cuts to public services. I had to reform the service to make sure it still delivered the justice people rightly expect of the system.
As well as changing the way the CPS worked, I was involved in seeing through some important cases, that had a big impact on society to this day. We brought Stephen Lawrence’s murderers to justice, changed the guidance to better support for victims of sexual and domestic violence, and prosecuted MPs for misuse of expenses.
I received a knighthood in 2014 for services to criminal justice. It was one of the proudest days of my life to invite my parents to Buckingham Palace to receive it with me. They even brought the family dog!
Let's get Britain's future back, together
Right now, it feels like Britain isn’t working.
Our public services are on their knees, hard working people are not making ends meet, victims of crime are being let down, and that deep British belief, that the next generation will be better off, is at risk.
My Labour Party offers the change our country needs. Not just reassurance that it will be ok, but hope. There is a better future for Britain. I see its potential wherever I go. Aspirant school kids; parents working their socks off to provide for their families; nurses still going above and beyond despite extraordinary pressure.
Labour will build a Britain that is forging ahead, not falling behind. One where the economy is secure, and rewards hard work. One where you don’t have to move away to get on. If you want to help us build a better country for working people, join us: