Kier Starmer – From Reigate Grammar to the Leadership of the Labour Party
The Party has spoken. Kier Starmer won 56% of the votes for the Labour leadership contest and we are proud he was educated in our Reigate Constituency. Members of our Constituency Party would regularly meet with Kier’s dad, Rod, on a Monday afternoon in The Jolly Brickmakers pub in Redhill for drinks and lively political discussion until shortly before his death in December 2018
Kier’s career has been extraordinary, and includes law degrees from Leeds and Oxford, becoming a Queens’s Counsel, human rights advisor to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland and then Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions.
Kier, named after the Labour Party founder Kier Hardie, joined the East Surrey Young Socialists in his teens and then became co-editor of the Socialist Alternatives magazine. He defended human rights cases on behalf of trade unionists and environmental campaigners including the McLibel Two, who distributed pamphlets criticising the fast food chain McDonalds and were taken to court by McDonalds who eventually lost.
The McLibel documentary co-director Franny Armstrong was to say of Kier, “he spent many years working unpaid to defend ordinary people’s rights to criticize multinational organisations”. Later Kier gave legal opinions against the war in Iraq and challenged New Labour policy on welfare and asylum seekers. His working style is described by colleagues as earnest, diligent, meticulous and forensic.
These are critical times for both the Labour Party and the UK, with the Coronavirus pandemic and the forthcoming exit from the EU. As Lenin was to say in 1916, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”.
We are in one of those weeks, and Kier you have our full support to move the Party and the United Kingdom forward.
Reigate Labour Party