Sir Keir Starmer is the leader of the Labour Party, and the leader of the opposition.
Named after Keir Hardie, a founding father of the Labour party, he was elected leader seven months ago in the wake of Labour’s heavy defeat in the 2019 general election.
He stood for, and won, the leadership on a platform of party unity but his resolve has been tested recently by factionalism and infighting. Following the publication of the highly critical Equality and Human Rights Commission report, he has vowed to tackle the issue of anti-Semitism in the party and heal division within the party ranks.
He grew up in Oxted, Surrey, the son of a toolmaker and a nurse. His formative years were clouded by his mother’s debilitating illness: she suffered from Still’s disease, an autoimmune disease, and as a young boy he spent a lot of his time at her hospital bedside.
His political awakening came at 16 when he joined the East Surrey Young Socialists and later he was one of the editors of the radical magazine Socialist Alternatives. After university he had a high-profile career as a human rights lawyer representing prisoners on death row and advising the new Police Service of Northern Ireland which was set up as part of the Good Friday Agreement. In 2008 he changed tack and became the director of Public Prosecutions before switching to politics. In 2015 he was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Holborn and St Pancras.
DISC ONE: Out on the Floor by Dobie Gray
DISC TWO: Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68 “Pastoral” (5th) Movement by Beethoven, conducted by Herbert von Karajan, performed by Berlin Philharmonic
DISC THREE: Welcome to My World by Jim Reeves
DISC FOUR: Falling and Laughing by Orange Juice
DISC FIVE: Oh Happy Day by The Edwin Hawkins Singers
DISC SIX: Three Lions by Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds
DISC SEVEN: Piano Concerto No.5, 2nd movement, Adagio un pocco mosso by Beethoven, performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pianist and director) and Swedish Chamber Orchestra
DISC EIGHT: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Artists For Grenfell, featuring Stormzy
BOOK CHOICE: A very detailed Atlas
LUXURY ITEM: A Football
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: Piano Concerto No.5, 2nd movement, Adagio un pocco mosso by Beethoven, performed by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (pianist and director) and Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Paula McGinley