Tories attack Starmer over his desire to spend Friday nights with family

The Tories said Sir Keir Starmer would be a “part-time prime minister” after the Labour leader said he would seek to make time to spend with his children on Friday nights.

Sir Keir said protecting time to spend with his son and daughter made him more relaxed and a better decision-maker.

The Labour leader and his wife Victoria have a 16-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria in evening dress
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria at the state banquet for the Japanese emperor (Aaron Chown/PA)

He told Virgin Radio: “We’ve had a strategy in place and we’ll try to keep to it, which is to carve out really protected time for the kids, so on a Friday – I’ve been doing this for years – I will not do a work-related thing after six o’clock, pretty well come what may.

“There are a few exceptions, but that’s what we do.”

But Rishi Sunak took a swipe at the Labour leader, telling reporters: “I haven’t finished at six ever.”

And a Conservative Party attack on social media said: “Keir Starmer has said he’d clock off work at 6pm if he became prime minister.

“You deserve better than a part-time prime minister. The only way to prevent this is to vote Conservative on Thursday.”

Tory deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis said: “Let’s hope Putin doesn’t choose 6.01pm when he wishes to go any further with his illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine.”

A Labour source hit back at the attacks, saying: “The only person who’s clocked off early in this campaign is Rishi Sunak at the D-Day commemorations.”

Sir Keir said his son and daughter are his “pride and joy” and “I don’t want to lose that time”.

He said that in politics “some people think, if you fill your diary 24/7 and don’t do anything else, that makes you a much better decision-maker”.

“I don’t agree with that, I think you’ve got to make space, so we do it.”

In an interview with Chris Evans, who used to play football with the Labour leader, Sir Keir suggested his children appeared unimpressed with his political career.

After winning a Spectator politician of the year award, he said his son asked “How did you blag that, then?”

And when he was speaking at a fundraising dinner his daughter asked: “Why would anyone pay to hear you speak?”

“They keep me very, very grounded,” Sir Keir said.