Keir Starmer’s Liberal About Mixed Family Ethnicity Despite Being An Atheist

With Keir Starmer's wife belonging to Jewish ethnicity, he is liberal enough to embrace the religion despite being an atheist.

By AlishPublished on: July 5, 2024 Updated on: July 5, 2024
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Keir Starmer’s rise to become the United Kingdom’s prime minister marks a significant shift for the Labour Party. His leadership since 2020 came after a tumultuous period that saw his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, suspended from the party.

The circumstances leading to this change were far from ordinary. Corbyn’s suspension followed his response to allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour. An investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, an independent watchdog, found the party responsible for “unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” against Jewish members during Corbyn’s tenure.

The report revealed that Labour’s political leadership had interfered with internal investigations of anti-Semitic incidents. One such case involved Corbyn himself, who had defended a mural featuring offensive caricatures of Jewish bankers.

Starmer, with his background as a prosecutor and human rights lawyer, made it a priority to address these issues. He publicly acknowledged the party’s failings, stating, “We have failed the Jewish people, our members, our supporters and the British public.” His commitment to transforming Labour was clear in his choice of slogan: “A New Leadership.”

While Starmer was raised in the Church of England, he has a personal connection to the Jewish community through his wife. This relationship adds depth to his efforts to rebuild trust with British Jews and root out anti-Semitism within the party.

Keir Has English Roots While His Wife Has Jewish Roots

Keir’s family history is rooted in England and Wales, with records dating back to 1837. Despite his Gaelic name, he doesn’t have Scottish heritage. He was named after Keir Hardie, Labour’s first parliamentary leader, though the British Prime minister himself has expressed uncertainty about this connection.

His wife, Victoria Alexander, brings a different cultural background to their family. Her father was born Jewish with Polish roots, and her late mother converted to Judaism.

Keir Starmer's wife's family are Jewish
Keir with his wife

The couple’s ties to the Jewish community are evident in their involvement with London’s Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St. John’s Wood. This synagogue is part of the Liberal movement, known for its progressive approach within British Judaism.

Their household seems to blend these diverse backgrounds. He has mentioned that his wife’s family often joins them for Friday night dinners at their London home, suggesting an embrace of Jewish traditions.

This mix of English and Jewish heritage in the Starmer family reflects the multicultural nature of modern Britain. It also adds a personal dimension to his efforts to address anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and rebuild relationships with the Jewish community.

The Couple Is Raising Their Children To Recognize Their Heritage

Keir and his life partner are actively incorporating Jewish traditions into their family life, especially for their two children. The couple has made a conscious decision to raise their son and daughter with an awareness of their Jewish heritage.

Starmer has spoken openly about their efforts to incorporate Jewish traditions into their family life, particularly for their son and daughter. He emphasized the importance of this connection, stating:

[We’re] bringing up [our children] to recognize the faith of part of their grandfather’s family, and it’s very important. Just carving out that tradition, that bit of faith on Friday is incredibly important, because we get together and we do Zoom prayers now.

This reveals how the family has adapted religious practices to fit their modern lifestyle. They’ve established a routine of Friday evening prayers, using technology like Zoom when necessary to maintain this spiritual connection.

For Starmer, these moments of shared faith and tradition hold special significance. He views them as crucial in shaping his children’s understanding of their diverse family history and cultural identity. Interestingly, while he respects and embraces his family’s diverse religious traditions, he personally identifies as an atheist.

His commitment to these family traditions extends beyond his personal life and into his political career. In a radio interview, he pledged that, if elected prime minister, he would avoid working after 6 p.m. on Fridays to observe Shabbat dinners and spend time with his family.

Keir’s Late Parents Supported The Labour Party

The British Prime Minister’s upbringing was shaped by his parents, Josephine and Rodney Starmer, who were dedicated supporters of the Labour Party. As the second of four children, Starmer grew up in a household where political values were deeply ingrained.

His mother worked as a nurse in the National Health Service (NHS), a role that would later influence Starmer’s political priorities. Despite her own struggles with Still’s disease, an autoinflammatory condition that frequently hospitalized her, she remained committed to her work. Her experiences with the NHS left a lasting impression on her son, instilling in him a strong belief in the importance of public healthcare.

Keir Starmer's with his parents
Keir with his parents.

His father, a toolmaker by trade, had a complex relationship with his son. In a recent radio interview, Keir revealed the emotional distance between them, stating,

We didn’t talk. He never really expressed pride in what I did. He certainly didn’t say, ‘I love you.’

This candid admission provides insight into his personal life and the challenges he faced in his family relationships.

Both parents passed away as Starmer’s political career was taking off. His mother died just weeks before he became an MP in 2015, while his father passed away three years later.

The influence of Starmer’s parents on his political beliefs is evident in his frequent references to his mother’s experiences with the NHS in his speeches. Their support for Labour and their working-class background have clearly shaped his political ideology and his approach to leadership.

About Author: Alish

Alish is a skilled content writer who blends creative flair with thorough research to craft engaging and enjoyable content.