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What To Know About New UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer officially became prime minister of the United Kingdom on Friday after his party won a landslide victory in a national election.

Starmer received the blessing of King Charles III to form a government in a ceremony known as the “kissing of hands.” A photo of the occasion served as the official announcement of Starmer’s new title.

Earlier on Friday, Rishi Sunak offered his resignation as prime minister to the king.

Voters in the U.K. cast their ballots Thursday in a national election to choose the 650 lawmakers who will sit in Parliament for the next five years.

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Here are 10 things you should know about the New P.M

1. Keir Starmer is a human rights lawyer who once called for the British monarchy to be abolished, but years later knelt before Charles, then prince of Wales, to be knighted.

2. He was also rumored to be the 1990s inspiration for a brooding heartthrob character in the Bridget Jones movies. More recently, he took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

3. Starmer, 61, is a social liberal, fiscal moderate and leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party.

4. He has been a member of parliament since 2015, and leader of the opposition — Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s main rival — since 2020.

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5. Starmer’s parents were “proper old-fashioned socialists” who may have named their son after Keir Hardie, a 19th century Scottish trade unionist, who founded the Labour Party in 1900, says Tom Baldwin, author of Keir Starmer: The Biography.

6. He grew up in an affluent, conservative suburb of London.

7. Starmer went to public school.

8. His mother Josephine was a nurse in Britain’s National Health Service, or NHS.

9. He joined the Young Socialists, the youth wing of the Labour Party, at age 16.

10. In 2014, Starmer received a knighthood for his criminal justice work, becoming Sir Keir.