Keir Starmer reveals his wife Victoria did not want him to go into politics

Labour leader Sir Keir says he wanted to ‘serve his country’ as a politician instead of taking another role as a lawyer

Tom Watling
Wednesday 12 June 2024 20:50 BST
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Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria at the party's annual conference
Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria at the party's annual conference (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sir Keir Starmer has said his wife Victoria did not want him to enter politics after he finished as director of public prosecutions, urging him to look for “well-paid” lawyer roles instead.

Speaking during a Sky News interview in which both the Labour leader and prime minister Rishi Sunak were questioned about a possible future in Downing Street on Wednesday, Sir Keir said his wife had urged him to stay away from politics.

The Labour leader said “My wife was ringing adverts in the papers about well-paid lawyers’ jobs and I said ‘no, I want to serve my country’, which is why, at a late stage, I came into politics to serve my country.”

Asked if Lady Starmer was not keen on him getting involved in politics, Sir Keir replied: “No she wasn’t at all, she thought it’d be far better to continue being a lawyer on a reasonable salary and not have all of the challenges that you get as a politician.

“But I was clear in my mind, I wanted to come into politics because I wanted to serve my country.”

Lady Starmer (L) has not been a high profile figure on the general election campaign trail
Lady Starmer (L) has not been a high profile figure on the general election campaign trail (AFP via Getty Images)

Lady Starmer is a former lawyer herself who now works as an occupational therapist in the NHS. The couple are notoriously private about their home lives and their children. Ms Starmer, known affectionately by friends as Lady Victoria, is the daughter of a Polish-Jewish father and a mother who converted to the faith.

Her first interaction with Sir Keir was while she was working as a solicitor and he was working as a barrister at Doughty Street chambers in the early 2000s.

Recalling their first meeting during his appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories in 2020, Sir Keir said: “I was doing a case in court and it all depended on whether the documents were accurate.

“I [asked my colleagues] who actually drew up these documents, they said a woman called Victoria, so I said let’s get her on the line.”

The couple married in 2007
The couple married in 2007 (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

When he questioned her about the papers, he said he heard his future wife mutter just before she hung up: “Who the f*** does he think he is?”

Nevertheless, Sir Keir said he later asked her out on a date to the Lord Stanley pub in Camden. The couple married a few years later, in 2007.

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