Sir Keir Starmer’s first conversation with his future wife ended with her snapping “Who the f*** does he think he is?”
The Labour leader told British Vogue that he didn’t have the “best of starts” with his now spouse, Victoria.
The pair first spoke over the phone when Sir Keir called the former solicitor to question her on the accuracy of some documents.
Before hanging up, he overheard her say to her colleague: “Who the f*** does he think he is?”
He told the magazine: “You might think, ‘Not the best of starts,’ but it was absolutely classic Vic.
“Very sassy, very down to earth, no nonsense from anyone, including from me.”
The couple married in 2007 and have two teenage children.
Carolyn Harris, Labour MP and family friend, told Vogue the remarks were “very much” characteristic of the Labour leader’s wife, who now works for the NHS.
She added that Mrs Starmer was “a litmus paper, literally the yin to his yan”.
On Sir Keir, she said he is “easy to be with”, adding: “I would never introduce someone to Keir and think, ‘I hope he doesn’t sound too stuffy for them now.’ I would take him to a spit-and-sawdust pub much as I would to The Savoy.
“He’s up for a laugh and easily amused. Give him what he loves, which is football and his family, and he’s happy.”
Sir Keir has previously spoken about how his wife is his “complete support”, telling Sky News last month: “All that I do, I talk through with Vic.
“All the big decisions… we sit and talk through at home and that is a good thing, except I’m not sure she signed up for this.”
Sir Keir became an MP relatively late on in his career, winning the seat for Holborn and St Pancras in 2015 following an illustrious career as a barrister.
He began specialising in human rights law in 1987, before going on to be head of the Crown Prosecution Service and director of public prosecutions from 2008 to 2013.
The 61-year-old was elected to Labour leader after just five years as an MP, in 2020, after its worst general election defeat since 1935.
In the interview with Vogue, he suggested he was well qualified to make “tough decisions” because of his experience making life and death decisions as a lawyer, when he worked with prisoners on death row across Africa and the Caribbean.
He said: “People often say in politics, ‘Are you tough enough to make the tough decisions?’
“My answer to that is: ‘Look, if you’ve sat in a cell with someone and had to make the decision about their case which could result in them living or dying, then you’ve had to take some tough decisions.'”
See the full feature in the March issue of British Vogue, available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 13 February.