Sir Keir Starmer opened his speech saying he won’t be telling the Prime Minister his holiday plans this year just in case he finds him there too.
The Labour leader couldn’t help himself but joke after he and his political enemy delivered a speech a few metres away and less than 24 hours from each other.
Sir Keir and Rishi Sunak both gave their speeches at Here East, an innovation and technology campus situated in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London.
The two leaders did not choose the same building within the campus, though, with the PM opting for Plexal, the tech innovation hub, yesterday, and Sir Keir the UCL’s building today.
As he answered questions from reporters, the Labour leader clarified Labour booked it first.
When asked about the differences between Labour and the Tories after pointing out the two leaders both picked the same venue, Sir Keir said chuckling: “We booked it first, that’s all I’ll say. But it is a great venue.”
He also told the audience just before starting his speech: “Welcome to UCL Here East.
“Now, this is a bit of London some of you are getting pretty familiar with in the last few days.
“So, I have decided I won’t tell the Prime Minister where I am going on holiday this year, just in case I find him there as well.”
The announcement that the Prime Minister was going to deliver a new year address on Wednesday came late on Tuesday evening.
A Labour source said shortly afterwards: “In their desperation to ensure Sunak’s speech doesn’t happen after Keir’s, No 10 have revealed they have nothing to offer the country except… double maths.”