It's clear dull Keir Starmer has trump card in vibrant wife Victoria

SIR Keir Starmer used more than 7,000 words in his speech to party conference and talked for 90 minutes.

Yet it was only really when his wife Victoria joined him on stage that Brand Starmer really kicked into life and it all — sort of — made sense.

Just like that, and in a couple of minutes of Victoria appearing engaged and frankly rather fabulous, she gave more of a sense of state than his entire speech.

Her beautiful smile and relaxed body language hinted at the charisma Sir Keir doesn’t quite have himself.

I like that she is a former lawyer who uses her own surname and not his, which tells you something about her.

And nor does she use her title “Lady”, which she could do on the basis he is a Sir, which is very refreshing. She is clearly a very modern woman — smart, stylish and an independent career woman.

When she appeared, it looked a bit like he was wheeling out the big guns, ­unveiling his secret weapon.

Yes, sure, what he needs next is some jaw-dropping policies, but I guess, being Labour, that will be a lot harder to come by.

If you were not convinced by appearances alone, you might be swayed by the story of how Keir and Victoria first met.

On Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Sir Keir described meeting his wife, who trained as a lawyer but is now an NHS occupational health worker. He said:

“I was doing a case in court and it all depended on whether the documents were accurate.

“I asked who actually drew up these documents. They said a woman called Victoria, so I said, ‘Let’s get her on the line’.”

When he spoke to Victoria, who was in her office as a ward sister in the NHS, he grilled her on the documents, and before he hung up, he heard one comment from her.

“She said, ‘Who the bleep does he think he is?’ then put the phone down on me.”

I think we can all guess what the bleep stood for. It’s not easy being a politician’s wife, and that is an understatement.

It is a thankless job, as plenty of ex-wives, including the former Mrs Michael Gove, Sarah Vine and Martha Hancock will no doubt attest.

It is hard being on display and the plus one who no one is really interested in as an individual.

Victoria's beautiful smile and relaxed body language hinted at the charisma Sir Keir doesn’t quite have himself

No one in their right mind would sign up to it — Samantha Cameron hated it — and yet being on public display is part of the job description.

You are judged mercilessly and first impressions stick. Look at Carrie Johnson.

The rumours that she is “interfering” have been her daily reality since day one.

Brigitte Macron is constantly depicted as “old”. Melania Trump was “vacant”. Cherie Blair became known as “money hungry”.

If “stylish” is Victoria’s new label she really is not doing too badly. But political spouses have an important role to play.

Sometimes that means adding credibility (Michelle Obama springs to mind, but there are plenty of others).

And I guess Victoria’s role at the ­Labour conference — especially when they have always been known as a couple who fiercely protect their private life since they married in 2007 — was to make Sir Keir seem more rounded.

Well, it worked.

She made it all look like a breeze, as if she was having the time of her life, even.

But I have no doubt she is pleased the conference is over. After all, who actually enjoys being paraded for the photo ops along the seafront?

My issue with him (Starmer) has always been that I find him bland. In fact I’ve seen more personality in a carrot

People are for ever questioning what Starmer stands for, accusing him of being cold or inhuman.

My issue with him has always been that I find him bland. In fact I’ve seen more personality in a carrot.

But you can tell within moments that someone as interesting, intelligent and sophisticated as Victoria wouldn’t be ­married to someone that bland.

So perhaps there is more to Sir Keir than meets the eye.

And seeing him with Victoria showed a glimpse of a different side — possibly a more rounded side. There is evident chemistry between them, and warmth, affection and connection.

Although I wonder what she made of his comment that it’s not right to say that only women have a cervix?

For her part, Victoria has embraced her new role and played the part faultlessly.

She seems up for it and also up to the job.

In fact she might just be Starmer’s trump card.


I WOULD like to join Cher, Bette Midler and Dionne Warwick in congratulating Britney Spears on the news that her father is no longer her conservator.

A judge this week removed Jamie Spears from the conservatorship that’s been controlling his 39-year-old daughter’s personal life – not to mention her £40million estate – after a long 13 years.

No wonder Britney reportedly burst into tears at the news. She wrote on Instagram: “On cloud 9 right now!!!”

After 13 years of not having access to her own money, access to birth control, to get married, go out or even drive, she is now finally rid of her father’s control on her life.

It’s a big victory for her, but the battle is not over.

To fully get her life back on track she needs to surround herself with good people who genuinely have her best interests at heart.

How sad that she feels she cannot count her father among them.


I KNOW there is a petrol crisis but some people are really taking things too far.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s driver was spotted waiting almost seven hours to fill the football star’s £220,000 Bentley with petrol at a forecourt in Cheshire.

He drove the Flying Spur into a Shell garage in Wilmslow at around 2.20pm on Wednesday and waited six hours and 40 minutes before ­realising that atanker wasn’t arriving any time soon so he drove away empty handed at 9pm.

It’s unbelievable that he sat there for so long waiting for a tanker that didn’t come and then went home.

That’s almost worse than the idiots who are filling buckets with ­petrol.

And even if he had been able to get petrol, in a six-litre car the max allowance of 30 quid wouldn’t get him far, so he’d have to do the same thing again the next day.

Bond glamour shows what we’ve missed

Watching the photos of the hordes of fabulous celebrities back on the red carpet for the premiere of Bond film No Time To Die really made me realise how much we have missed the glamour of it all.

The Duchess of Cambridgelooked like a movie star in her sparkly Jenny Packham dress, Daniel Craig was every inch a James Bond in his pink velvet smoking jacket and Emma Raducanu simply glowed like the superstar she is.

I loved seeing all the beautiful people out for the night, those dresses (that jacket!) and sparkle. It really cheered me up.


READING the victim statement that Sarah Everard’s mother, Susan, was brave enough to read aloud in court was heart-breaking.

I am so glad she forced Wayne Couzens to listen to the effects of his crime on her and also Sarah’s sister and father.

But it was also unbearable to read later.

Illuminating the degree to which this event has dominated and clouded their lives, Susan told the Old Bailey that every evening at the time Sarah was abducted, she cries out to warn her daughter, who was 33, not to trust Couzens.

Susan told Couzens as he sat in the dock: “In the evenings, at the time she was abducted, I let out a silent screams, ‘Don’t get in the car, Sarah. Don’t believe him. Run!’ ”

Aside from prison, where this despicable excuse for a human being will spend the rest of his life, Couzens will for ever have to live with Susan’s words in his head.

Here’s hoping they haunt him for ever and are the first thing he thinks of when he wakes in the morning, just as Sarah’s death is the first thing her family think of.

The way he abused his position of authority as a serving policeman and preyed on the sense we all had during lockdown that we were doing something wrong if we so much as left the house in the pandemic, is unforgivable.

Sarah’s mum wishes her daughter had not got into Couzens’ car.

But we are brought up to trust police officers.

What do we tell our daughters now?

Posh ‘n’ pecks

NEWS that Victoria Beckham’s favourite meal is salt on wholegrain toast is not exactly surprising.

Having recently lost a stone, I can vouch for the fact that to lose weight you really can’t eat much at all.

I found you have to skip two of your three meals a day unless you exercise, which I don’t.

But even I would draw the line at salt on toast.

Victoria admitted to Ruth Rogers, on the River Cafe’s Podcast, that she is a restaurant’s “worst nightmare”.

Probably is.

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