Keir Starmer says he 'wouldn't have been able to study law' if he were growing up under Rishi Sunak's government

22 August 2023, 06:00

Keir Starmer said he wouldn't have been able to study law under Rishi Sunak's government
Keir Starmer said he wouldn't have been able to study law under Rishi Sunak's government. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Sir Keir Starmer has said he would not be able to study law if he were growing up under the current Conservative government.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Labour leader, 60, came from a working-class background and said his family didn't have "any spare money knocking around" to fund his university studies.

Sir Keir studied law at the University of Leeds in the 1980s, supporting himself by working and with grants.

"I vividly remember carefully calculating rent, bills and food," he said. "Going to Leeds to study was a turning point for me; it will be a deep betrayal if one the legacies of this Tory government is University, apprenticeships and skills becoming the preserve of the wealthy."

Sir Keir said that he doubted he would have been able to study if he were finishing school now, given the cost of living and limited opportunities for young people.

Read more: Keir Starmer clashes with Sadiq Khan over Ulez as he insists there are 'other ways' to cut pollution

Read more: Keir Starmer insists a woman is an ‘adult female’ as he says gender self-identification is not ‘right way forward’

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

The Bank of England's economic forecast in its monetary policy report for the month is gloomy, Labour pointed out.

"GDP growth is expected to remain below pre-pandemic rates in the medium term, also reflecting relatively weak potential supply and a waning boost from fiscal policy," the report said.

"Relative to the May projection, quarterly GDP growth is expected to be weaker throughout much of the forecast period, particularly during 2024 and at the beginning of 2025."

Sir Keir said Rishi Sunak was "holding back British ambition and talent" and said that the economy was "stuck in a low growth trap."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

It comes after A-level students got their results on Thursday, with GCSE results to come this week.

Sir Keir said: "That ambitious and successful students are making decisions about their next steps based on costs and their financial means should shame the Conservatives. Tory economic failure choking off the dreams of the next generation is a deep betrayal of aspirational Britain.

"Talent and aspiration should drive young people – not the affordability of rent, or soaring food prices.

Keir Starmer on Ulez: ‘I don’t think there’s an alternative…’

"I vividly remember the excitement of moving to Leeds to study law. It was a financial stretch then, if I were a student today, I wouldn’t be able to go.

"Growth is at the heart of my mission led plan for government because it’s the oxygen of ambition and success. My Labour government will rewire the economy so it rewards hard work, allows aspirations can flourish, success to be realised, and talented, driven, people can get on."

A government spokesperson said: “Since 2010, the UK has grown faster than France, Japan, Italy and Germany, and despite global challenges, the OECD, IMF, OBR and Bank of England all forecast UK growth this year and next.

"The whole of government is fully focused on delivering the PM’s priority to grow the economy with a plan to help people into work and boost business investment, while supporting the most vulnerable with one of the largest cost-of-living packages in Europe - worth £3,300 on average per household over this year and last.

"And, when it comes to higher education,  we are supporting young people with more options than ever before whether that’s through apprenticeships, university, or the world of work."

LBC has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Parts of the UK are set to see 5cm of snow on Friday

Brits to get 5cm of snow in wintry blast as temperatures plummet to -10C, after schools close

Israel Palestinians

Israel announces resumption of combat in Gaza Strip as truce with Hamas expires

The IDF said fighting had resumed

Israel-Hamas restarts as truce deadline expires, after IDF intercepts missile fired from Gaza

Released prisoner

Israeli military confirms release of six more hostages in Gaza Strip

Rishi Sunak will call for an "era of action" on the climate

Sunak to call for 'era of action' on climate at Cop28 - despite watering down green measures at home

Omid Scobie has insisted he never sent out a book including two royals' names amid racism allegations

Dutch translator on Omid Scobie's Endgame insists she was sent manuscript with two royals' names in race row

Lloyds banking group is closing more branches in 2024.

Lloyds group to close 45 branches as Labour pledges to keep banks back on the high street - is your local affected?

Hall and Oates

Hall and Oates row: Judge extends pause on Oates’ sale of stake in business

Hamas has claimed Israel is refusing to take back the bodies of the Bibas family

Hamas releases propaganda video of father of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas saying Israel refuses to take his family's bodies

Police clashed with Legia Warsaw fans

Three officers injured as Polish football fans unleash 'planned and systematic violence' on police ahead of Villa game

William and Kate dazzled on the red carpet as they brushed off Scobie's claims

William and Kate all smiles on red carpet as royals brush aside storm around Omid Scobie's book Endgame

Opec sign

Saudi Arabia extends cut in oil it sends to world in bid to boost prices

An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now

'Provoke us again and we will respond in kind': Mick Lynch issues new threat to government after pay deal halts strikes

Matt Hancock appeared at the Covid inquiry on Thursday

Cummings a 'malign actor' and 'missed opportunities': 11 revelations from Matt Hancock's Covid inquiry appearance

Phillip Hancock

Man executed in Oklahoma over double killing in 2001

Milei has backed his country's claim to the Falklands

Britain 'stands firmly' with Falkland Islands as minister pays visit in fresh warning to Argentina's eccentric president