Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC (born 2 September 1962) is a barrister, a Member of Parliament for Holborn and St Pancras and Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Previously he was the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He has prosecuted in numerous cases for the CPS during his career, while acting principally as a defence lawyer specialising in human rights issues.
He was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC) in 2002 and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2014 New Year Honours. He was sworn in as a Privy Councillor on 19 July 2017.
Starmer was selected on 13 December 2014 as the Labour Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Holborn and St Pancras, following the decision of the sitting Member of Parliament Frank Dobson to stand down.
He was urged by activists to stand for Leader of the Labour Party at the 2015 leadership election, but he ruled out doing so, citing his lack of political experience. During the campaign to elect a new leader of the Labour Party, following the resignation of Ed Miliband, Keir Starmer backed Andy Burnham for the leadership. After Jeremy Corbyn was elected, Starmer was appointed as a Shadow Home Office Minister reporting to Burnham.
In September 2015, Starmer along with Tulip Siddiq and Catherine West wrote a letter to then Prime Minister David Cameron seeking urgent action to address the refugee crisis due to the Syrian Civil War.
On 6 October 2016, Starmer was appointed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union replacing Emily Thornberry in this role. Starmer resigned from a consultancy position with the law firm specialising in human rights (Mishcon de Reya LLP) that acted for Gina Miller in bringing legal proceedings R (Miller and Dos Santos) v the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Starmer has used his position as Shadow Secretary of State to question the government's "destination" for Britain outside the European Union, as well as calling for the government's Brexit plan to be released.