Starmer reveals dad's home burnt down with dog inside while he was dying in hospital
Starmer revealed that he couldn't bring himself to tell his father the heartbreaking truth
Keir Starmer has a less public persona than his predecessor, which is strange considering he is often in the headlines. During his sit down with Piers Morgan, he opened up about his childhood, the loss of his mother, and the deterioration of his father in recent years.
For ITV's Piers Morgan's Life Stories, the labour leader and the British news host sat down to talk about all things Keir. Though they spoke of many aspects of his life, most notably whether or not he had partaken in the occasional joint, the most captivating element was the deep dive into Starmer's relationship with his father.
Starmer's mother passed away in 2015, having suffered from Still's disease for most of her life. The condition, which can affect everyone in different ways, is a rare type of inflammatory arthritis.
Following her passing, Starmer's father Rodney broke down and moved into the outhouse. Rodney later moved all of the family belongings there, secluding himself in a place where his late wife had spent most of her days.
"He had my mum's wedding ring next to him on the bed, and he had these pictures of mum," Starmer says, holding back tears. "Like a shrine?" asks Morgan.
During this time, Rodney became ill, suffering from blood poisoning due to cuts on his legs. After becoming delirious, his son had no choice but to admit him to the hospital.
But the heartbreak does not end there. During his time in hospital, Rodney's house and belongings went up in flames. "We raked through the ashes days later and found my mum's wedding ring burnt, bent and everything he had had gone up."
Along with his possessions, Rodney's beloved dog also died in the fire. When his father asked about how the dog was doing, Starmer was put into an impossible position. He could tell the truth but potentially risk hurting his ailing father more. Instead, Starmer decided to tell his father that everything was okay.
"We couldn't tell him that everything in the outhouse didn't exist anymore. So he never knew, and I'm glad he never knew. It was difficult."
Unfortunately, Rodney passed away in hospital. Though the interview with Piers Morgan was heartbreaking, it has brought a human light to Starmer. It can sometimes be challenging to open up to friends, let alone to the entire country. It is a gentle reminder that there are humans behind the faces we see on our screens.