Starmer says he owes it to his children to keep them out of the limelight

Sir Keir Starmer has said keeping his children out of the limelight is something he owes them.

The Labour leader has repeatedly expressed concerns about his teenage children’s privacy in the run-up to the General Election.

He vowed to be “fiercely protective” of them if the family moves into 10 Downing Street after an expected Labour victory.

Speaking to journalists on the campaign trail on Wednesday, Sir Keir said: “I have talked about the concern I have about my children.

“I don’t want to overly talk about my children because I don’t want to bring them into this – that’s the very thing I’ve been trying not to do.

“Look, it’s not easy if you’re 16 and 13-and-a-half to go through big changes in your life if that’s what happens, and so, you know, they’re understandably at an age where this is very impactful on them, which is why I’ve been so fiercely protective of them for many years now and will continue to try to be so.

“That’s just a very personal thing that I owe them.”

Asked whether he had plans to “do something special” on Thursday, Sir Keir said: “I think tomorrow may be pretty busy, so I’ve not made promises I can’t keep to anyone, including my children.”

Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria
Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria after he spoke at a London campaign event (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Sir Keir and his wife Victoria have tried to shield his 13-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son from the public eye, keeping them out of photographs and never naming them in public in an effort to make their lives as normal as possible.

The Labour leader’s comment that he tries to avoid working after 6pm on a Friday to spend time with his family has been the subject of Tory attacks in recent days.

The Conservatives said Sir Keir’s stance would make him a “part-time” prime minister, but the Labour leader has dismissed the criticism as “ridiculous” and clarified that “of course, I’ve had to work Fridays in the past, I’ll work Fridays in the future”.