Sir Keir Starmer on why you’d never catch him in the I’m A Celebrity jungle like Matt Hancock

Labour leader Keir Starmer has given his verdict on if he really is ‘Sir Softie’ (Picture: Getty Images)

In the UK’s next general election, Sir Keir Starmer is determined to wrestle back the keys to No 10 from the Conservatives.

A date is still to be confirmed – there are murmurings next autumn could be on the cards – and upcoming local elections could be a taster of what is to come.

We caught up with the Labour leader to talk about life outside the Commons, dodgy knees and a hamster called Bear.

How are you feeling about Arsenal’s chances in the remainder of the season, especially after the defeat to Man City?

I am gutted about the game. But it is still a fantastic squad of players, a young squad too, with massive talent.

They all work as a team rather than individuals so there’s huge potential there; But I can’t deny, I am just gutted about the result against Manchester City.

Sir Keir is a fan of Arsenal Women football club and finds them inspiring (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

I’ve also been to see Arsenal Women a few times this season, they’re really inspiring.

They have the Championship League semi final on Monday (yesterday) which will be really tough.

Leah [Williamson’s] injury is really a shame for her and the team, but I still think what they’ve achieved is amazing.

The rise and prominence of women’s football has been fantastic as a whole for the Lionesses – they did what the men couldn’t do and brought football home.

That has been fantastic and has been really inspiring for girls and young women who want to play football,and in creating a legacy about equal access to sport for both boys and girls.

My daughter has come to see some of the Arsenal Women games with me, it’s been great to see the inspirational effect it has had on her and I’m sure for other young people.

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We’ve seen Matt Hancock and Kezia Dugdale on I’m A Celeb, Ed Balls and Edwina Curry on Strictly – what reality tv show can you see yourself taking part in a life after politics?

I’ll leave the dancing to Ed Balls, and I’ll leave making a fool of yourself to Matt Hancock. 

I think I’d go for something like Celebrity Masterchef, I really like to cook and when I get the time like to really enjoy it.

I have lots of dishes that I make, but I also have children – one is 12 and one is 14. I’ll try give them some new exciting recipes but it can lead to rows.

They’ll just urge me to put pasta with tomato sauce back on the menu! So we usually end up with something in the middle.

The Labour leader says he’ll leave the dancing to Ed Balls (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

And the making a fool of himself to Matt Hancock (Picture: James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock)

How’s your family pet, Bear the hamster, and is he still set to join you if you reach No 10?

Bear is doing well!

We also have a cat called JoJo but we have to make sure Bear and JoJo are never in the same room.

Bear is the most recent step in my children’s long-running campaign to get a dog, which hasn’t happened just yet.

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Your political opponents have given you various nicknames in recent years. Boris Johnson liked Captain Hindsight. Rishi Sunak is trying out Sir Softie. Others have gone with Keith. Do you have a favourite?

Keir is a great name, when I was growing up I didn’t really like it as it was so different. But now I really like it.

So yes, my preference really would be Keir over any nickname.

But I’ve been called far worse by many many people over many many years!

Despite insults thrown at him by his political opponents Keir prefers his own name (Picture: PRU/AFP via Getty)

You recently watched the London Marathon, any chance you’ll be lacing up your trainers to take part at some point?

The London Marathon is always so inspiring, especially this year with Mo Farah’s final year. Like everyone I’m always just in awe of the people taking part, they’re amazing. 

I’ve got a friend who dresses up to run, this year for the Half Marathon he was Big Ben! 

But no, I can say for sure I’d never do a marathon. I’ve played football every week since I was ten-years-old  and I’m determined to carry on for as long as possible. I’d worry training for and doing a marathon could damage my knees which could be an issue in the long run.

Between doing a marathon and playing football, the answer will be football, football, football every time.

I play in midfield.

I play every week with a group of friends I’ve had for a very long time. The moment you get on a football pitch everything else doesn’t matter.

People don’t care what you do or what you work as, they care if you are a good player. It’s always fantastic and playing is a highlight every week.

Why did you decide to do 60 seconds, and what do you think of the revamped Metro?

I’d read really interesting versions of 60 seconds by lots of other people and wanted to get involved.

I like the Metro’s recent revamp, it’s really good and stands out. I particularly like the new front page style and I think it works really well. I’m a big fan of the sport section too, it’s always enjoyable to read.

The Metro is also very readable when travelling.

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