Most expensive purchase and the music that makes him cry: Keir Starmer’s quickfire Q&A


Most expensive thing bought

These days it’s probably my Arsenal season ticket – but well worth it. After 18 years in the same seats it’s not something I’m going to give up.

Memory of a fight

In 1980, my friend Graham being punched and kicked by some local kids for being gay. I jumped in alongside our friend Mark so all three of us ended up getting beaten up.

Do you pray?

I don’t pray, but I think faith is valuable. It’s a place where people can invest a lot of themselves and find comfort, hope and a sense of security. I value that a lot.

Biggest regret

Not taking the opportunity to tell my dad I loved him in his final moments. That’s a regret that will stay with me.

A fear

My only major fears are around my kids – I think most parents will relate. I worry about their privacy, we do everything we can to give them the best chance of an independent life uninterrupted by my work.

A hope

The big hope for all of us in the Labour Party is that our message for change has resonated with the British people, and we get the chance to change our country in government.

Funniest moment

Definitely my mum and dad bringing our dog to Buckingham Palace when I was being knighted. The image of this massive Great Dane sticking its head out of the car window to a bemused security guard will always bring a smile to my face.

How do you feel about your parents not seeing you become PM?

It’s not easy. My mum passed away a few weeks before I became an MP. I know she’d be beaming now.

Book that inspires

Jo Cox’s book, More In Common. As she so eloquently puts it, we have more in common than that which divides us. We have to get past the politics of division, this book is my north star for that.

Favourite poem

At the D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago, the poet Tomos Roberts recited a poem ‘The People Who Gave Us Today’ which was an incredibly powerful moment.

Favourite music

When I started at Leeds University it was an explosion of culture, discovering artists like Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins. But I do need to mention Stormzy’s most recent album which is a brilliant piece of work.

What can you play on the flute most easily?

My favourite was playing quartets - particularly Mozart, although I wouldn’t fancy my chances these days.

Music that makes you cry

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No.5, 2nd movement – when the piano comes in. It’s the music me and Vic walked into at our wedding, and will always remind me of that special day.

Sports hero

Thierry Henry, always.


I try not to define myself by people in the past but it’s hard to look past Nelson Mandela. Anyone aspiring to lead a country can learn from the way he conducted himself as a leader.


I hate losing.


I hate losing.