Young reporters from FYI interview Sir Keir Starmer

By arayerevanian 10th March 2023

Sir Keir Starmer wants to be the UK’s next prime minister. But who is he, and what would he do if he had the top job?

FYI presenters Scarlett and Jeriah met with Sir Keir Starmer and asked him just that, and more! FYI is a collaboration between Sky Kids, Sky News, and First News.

Jeriah: “So, you’re the Leader of the Opposition, which means you’re the leader of the largest party that’s not in Government – the Labour Party. But what do you actually do?”

Sir Keir Starmer: “We’ve got two main jobs as the Opposition. The first is to oppose the Government. Everything they put forward, we test it, we argue about it, make sure they’re doing the right thing. And, if they’re not doing the right thing, we point it out. The other thing we do is to prepare for the next election in the hope that we will win and I’d become the prime minister in Government.”

Strikes

Sir Keir Starmer: “I think it’s really important that everyone has the right to go on strike because, if you don’t
have the right to go on strike, you don’t really have the ability to improve your pay and your conditions and your circumstances at work. Obviously, I don’t want people to be on strike, but the right to strike, the right to take action is very, very important.”

Green schools

Sir Keir Starmer: “I’m a big believer in solar panels on schools. In the primary school where my children went, they had a big project to get solar panels on schools. But, I think we need to do much more than that because I think the climate crisis is going to be huge for our future.”

“We also need wind turbines in the sea, on land. We need to make sure that we’re not relying on oil and gas in the way we have done for a very long time.”

On that note, you have a mission! This year, First News launched a green-themed Takeover Challenge in partnership with WWF UK called ‘#HowGreenCanYouGo?’ That’s the question we want kids to ask their local businesses! Watch the campaign film and find out more 👉 first.news/takeoverchallenge

First News Takeover Challenge with WWF UK. How Green can you go?

The cost of living

Mimi (FYI News Club member): “I live in a single-parent household and we are only ever one unexpected bill away from not being able to eat or stay warm. Mr Starmer, politicians like you talk about how to help families like mine, but what experience of poverty do you actually have?”

Sir Keir Starmer: “That’s a really good question. And, I don’t know whether you know much about me and how I grew up, but my dad was a toolmaker, so he worked in a factory and my mum was a nurse, but she was also sadly very ill, and she couldn’t work for very long. So, actually, we didn’t have a lot of money coming into our family. And, when we had a cost of living crisis, when I was about your age, we couldn’t pay the bills. We had to have our phone cut off.”

“We didn’t have mobiles, by the way. It was just the old-fashioned phone. So, I do actually know what it feels like to have to look at your bills every week, or every month, and make really difficult decisions about what you are going to spend your money on. That question reflects what a lot of families are feeling across the country.”

Our latest blog, written in collaboration with Starling Bank, discusses how to talk to your children about the cost of living crisis.

With such a heavy focus on it within the media, it can be a scary time for children. Our blog covers topics like ‘What is the cost of living crisis’, ‘why are costs going up so quickly’ and explaining what interest rates are. 👉 Read First News’ latest blog here 👈

Refugees

Sir Keir Starmer: “In this country, we’ve always been very welcoming of refugees. Most recently, obviously, Afghanistan, where there have been a lot of people fleeing from the Taliban and, of course, now Ukraine, from where we’ve had many refugees. Some of the people fleeing Afghanistan were working with the British in Afghanistan, which is why they’re being targeted. So we should have safe passages for people to get here. Going across the Channel in a boat is not a safe route. And, behind that, we don’t allow those criminal gangs to exploit people, putting them in that awfully dangerous situation.”

An inflatable dinghy carrying around 65 migrants crosses the English Channel. Credit: Getty Images

Finally…

Mitchell (FYI News Club) member: “My brother thinks pineapple belongs on pizza. It’s disgusting! Do you like it?”

Sir Keir Starmer: “No, I do not have pineapple on pizza! But, just to give you a little glimpse into our family life, we have a rule on a Friday that, however busy I am, I’ll stop work and we’ll always have a night in with our boy who’s 14 and our girl who’s 12. And the big discussion is, because we always have a takeaway, what are we going to have? Pizza is always there. Our girl is always lobbying for pizza, but not pineapple for me!”

Read the full interview in this week’s issue of First News – available in print, online or via the newsstand. More of the interview can be seen on a special episode of BAFTA-winning FYI here. 👈

If you wish to read more insightful pieces that could be discussed with your children, visit the Talking Points section of our website.

Find out all the ways you can access First News at home and at school!

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