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Watch: Starmer slams audience for ‘disrespect’ over ‘toolmaker’ jibes

GB News

There’s less than three weeks to go until polling day and the TV debates are continuing to roll in. This week, we’ve seen party leaders Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer quizzed by Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby before being turned on by the audience. And while the Prime Minister had a rather more gruelling time in the hands of the crowd, it’s Sir Keir who’s still moaning about it.

In an interview with GB News’s political editor Christopher Hope, the Labour leader hit out at audience member who laughed at him when he spoke of his parents’ jobs. The first groan of the night rang through the hall when Sir Keir spoke of how his sister and mother had worked for the NHS. And when the inevitable line came – ‘my dad was a toolmaker’ – onlookers could hardly contain themselves.

But a rather miffed Starmer told GB News didn’t see the funny side…

CH: During last night’s debate with Sky News, the crowd laughed when you said your dad’s a toolmaker. Why is that? Do you think people are getting tired of the same comment?

KS: Let me directly address you on that. My dad worked in a factor all his life. He felt people disrespected him. It actually hit a nerve last night, because he felt that in the usual conversation when someone says ‘what do you do for a living?’ socially, then ‘I work in a factory’ – there would be a pause where nobody quite knew what to say. And he felt really disrespected, it caused him in life to withdraw from social engagements, he didn’t do it much later in life because it was raw to him that he should be disrespected because he worked in a factory. When someone laughed last night, my dad would have turned in his grave.

CH: Was that a snobbishness towards your dad, do you think?

KS: I don’t know what caused someone to laugh. But if you’re laughing at someone because they work in a factory then that is the one thing that I think had a massive impact on someone like my dad, the disrespect, and it’s in me, you can see I’m angry about it, I’m frustrated. I will never allow that sort of disrespect for working people to be any part of my plans, to be any part of the Britain that I want as the future.

Talk about missing the point. Mr S is rather sure no one was laughing at Starmer’s father. They were laughing the Labour leader using any opportunity he gets to use his now infamous line. And, surprise surprise, he just did it again…

Watch the clip here:

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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