Keir Starmer ‘personally supports’ changing assisted dying law ‘within five years’ if Labour win next election

13 March 2024, 00:12 | Updated: 13 March 2024, 00:35

Starmer has said he is 'personally committed' to changing the law within five years
Starmer has said he is 'personally committed' to changing the law within five years. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Keir Starmer has said he is "personally committed" to changing the law on assisted dying if Labour win the next election.

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Speaking on the phone with broadcasting legend Dame Esther Rantzen, who recently revealed she had signed up to Dignitas in Switzerland, Sir Keir said he was "personally in favour of changing the law".

Sir Keir also told Dame Esther on the call, recorded by ITV, that Labour "will make the commitment".

"I think we need to make time...Esther, I can give you that commitment right now."

Dame Esther has been campaigning for the law to change after she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Keir Starmer tells Nick Ferrari he would advocate to change assisted dying law

Sir Keir's commitment comes after weeks of debate, provoked by Dame Esther's campaign, about whether the law should be changed.

It is currently illegal to assist someone in taking their own life in the UK. The last time MPs voted on it was 2015.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Alamy

Read More: ‘The law is a mess’: Dame Esther Rantzen issues fresh call for free vote on assisted dying

Read More: Keir Starmer says current assisted dying laws 'don't really work' as he calls to change the rules

It also comes weeks after Sir Keir told LBC's Nick Ferrari that he would support a change in the law if the conditions were right.

"I am an advocate to change the law," he told Nick in January.

"Obviously that change has to be very carefully crafted."

Carol Vorderman explains why she would choose assisted suicide if she had a terminal condition

Nick also recently spoke to Dame Esther about how she would prepare for her final moments.

"What I would like, if we can get our laws straight and it doesn't put my family at risk, is I'd like to fly off to Zurich with my nearest and dearest, have a fantastic dinner the night before," she said.

Dame Esther Rantzen
Dame Esther Rantzen. Picture: Alamy

"I love caviar and the fact it doesn’t always agree with me doesn't matter – I could even have champagne which I'm deeply allergic to.

"Then, the next day, go to this rather unappealing place where they do it, listen to a favourite piece of music and say goodbye to everybody.

"I'll tell them to 'cheer up, I’m meeting my late husband, my departed dog and my mother at the pearly gates' and hold out my hand for an injection or open my mouth for a rather disgusting medication."

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