Keir Starmer Breaks Down As He Describes The Death Of His Father

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer.
Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer.

Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer.

Sir Keir Starmer broke down as he described the death of his father during an emotional interview.

The Labour leader said his relationship with his toolmaker father, Rodney, was more “distant” while he cared for his mother, Josephine, who suffered with a rare form of inflammatory arthritis.

He was unusually candid during the High Performance Podcast, hosted by Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes.

Starmer’s mother, an NHS nurse, died just weeks before her son was elected a Labour MP in 2015. His father passed away three years later in 2018.

The Labour leader has previously described his father as a “difficult and complicated” man who kept himself to himself and was utterly committed to caring for his mother.

Asked what he would say to his parents now, Starmer replied: “I think my mum knew what I thought of her and was a very warm woman.

Starmer Breaks Down In Discussion About His Father 

“It has taken me much longer to work out my relationship with my dad because he was by nature more distant and so bound up with how he looked after my mum and almost a retreat from the social scene because he didn’t like that question: ‘What do you do for a living?’

“I don’t regret very much in life, but the last time I saw my dad he was in hospital, dying.

“And I walked away and I knew he was going to die. I just knew it.

“I knew I wouldn’t see him again and I didn’t turn around to go back and tell him what I thought and I should have done.

“Is this advice to my teenage self? I don’t know. It’s hardwired advice for myself in relation to my relationship with our children.

“So I’ve tried to make sure that is completely different and that we are together we talk and we know each other.”

Asked what he would have said to his father, Starmer replied: “I would have said ‘I love you’.

“I’d have also said ‘I’m proud of you’ and have tried to close that gap that was so important in his life.”

Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer.
Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer.

Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria Starmer.

Starmer also choked up as he spoke out about the death of his mother-in-law who died in the middle of the Labour leadership race.

“My wife’s mum had an awful accident and died. As you can imagine, my wife was in utter bits,” Starmer added.

“I found that really hard because I was trying to reach her. I’d lost my own parents, but to try to reach someone who was losing and lost theirs was really hard.

“To go from that - to you’re on stage. I could almost feel the team [saying] ’come on Keir you’re on, you’ve got to do the next hustings, you’ve got to go out there and the cameras will be on, the lights will be on and you’ll be expected to project confidence etc.

“That’s quite hard to turn around in a short period of time, taking a call just before you go on stage and then going on stage.”

:: Extracts from the High Performance Podcast. Humphrey and Hughes will tour the UK with their biggest show yet starting at the London Palladium April 20.