Red Knight. The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer. Michael Ashcroft. “A Tory Peer on a Labour Knight.

Tendance Coatesy

Red Knight. The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer. Michael Ashcroft. Biteback Publishing.

(This review appears in the latest Chartist, out now).

Red Knight aims to “explore Sir Keir’s experiences and temperament” to see if he is “equipped” to move from his “present predicament” to becoming Prime Minister. The former treasurer and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and, as the blurb puts it, “international businessman” (tax avoidance issues unmentioned), would not be any Labour leader’s choice as his first biographer. Starmer, the Lord begins, “did not want this book to be written”.

Compared with some left-wing jibes at the Leader of the Opposition, the jibes are subdued. The biography is a serious, if unfriendly, study of Starmer’s career. Considerably helped, one imagines, by chief researcher, Miles Goslett.

From his Surry upbringing, the “schoolboy socialist” Starmer became involved in the Labour Club at Leeds University (its extent is disputed)…

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