Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer appeared on Piers Morgan’s “Life Stories” programme last night (Tuesday, June 1), giving viewers a rare personal look into the politician’s life.
Morgan asked Starmer questions about his upbringing, his family and his career, with the politician moved to tears during some sections of the interview.
What is Life Stories - and why was Starmer on it?
“Life Stories” is a chat show hosted by Piers Morgan in which a celebrity guest is invited to be interviewed by Morgan in front of a live studio audience.
The interviews usually have an intimate feel, with Morgan levelling personal questions at the interviewee.
Morgan himself asked Starmer during the interview: “why are you doing this?” To which Starmer replied that the interview was an opportunity to speak in front of a live studio audience.
Some commentators, however, have observed that the decision to be interviewed is likely to have been sparked by Labour’s poor showing in the recent local elections, with voters citing uncertainty over Keir’s leadership and what he stands for.
Why is Starmer a ‘sir’?
Sir Keir Starmer's knighthood comes from his career as a defence lawyer, where he specialised in human rights issues.
Starmer began as a barrister at the ‘Middle Temple’, and, over the years, worked his way up the legal profession.
In 2008 he was named as the new Head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions.
Anyone in this role receives a knighthood automatically, with Starmer knighted in 2014 for "services to law and criminal justice".
Starmer, however, prefers not to use the title, and did not adopt it in his political career.
What was said in the interview?
The interview covered a lot of ground, though much was focused on Starmer’s family and late parents.
Starmer revealed that his mother had suffered from Stil’s disease, which attacks a person’s joints. She died shortly before he became an MP in 2015.
In a tearful exchange with Morgan, Starmer described how his father, Rod Starmer, was “devoted” to his wife, and refused to leave her side while she was dying in hospital - asking Keir to deliver the news of her imminent death to his siblings.
When asked by Morgan if there was anything he wished he could say to his mother, Starmer replied: “I love you.”
Starmer also described his relationship with his father as “"Distant. He was not emotional. He was a difficult man. He didn't much like company."
In one story, it was revealed that Starmer met his wife during a legal case in which she, as an NHS ward sister, had drawn up some important documents.
Starmer gave her a grilling over the phone, with Victoria replying: “who the bleep does he think he is” before hanging up, said Starmer.
A bizarre incident in which a serial conman attempted to imitate Starmer was also described, with the perpetrator answering a lonely hearts column pretending to be Starmer, as well as attempting to buy items and taxi fares in his name.
"He would take a taxi down to one of the women he was seeing as 'Keir Starmer' in the West Country then say, 'put the bill on Crown Prosecution Service'," Starmer explained.
"One of the cabbies turned up at my office and said I want my money and that was when everyone started to realise what was happening."