Labour leader Keir Starmer told the Mirror how he’ll cope with last minute election nerves on Thursday night and what important item he’ll take to No10 if he wins

Keir Starmer has vowed to give the country hope again after 14 years of hurt under the Tories.

As he enters the final hours of the election campaign, he said he wanted people to feel that “Britain is back”.

In an interview with the Mirror ahead of polling day on Thursday, the man who is within touching distance of becoming our next PM pledged to “roll up my sleeves from minute one” if elected.

And he joked that unlike Rishi Sunak he will have an umbrella ready in case it is raining outside No10.

During a campaign stop at Hucknall Town Football Club in Nottinghamshire, he appealed to Mirror readers to help him secure a thumping majority so he can end the Tory shambles. “It’s a massive decision for the future of the country,” he said. “It’s the opportunity to turn our backs on 14 years of chaos, division and failure. And turn the page and start to rebuild the country with Labour.”

Keir Starmer says he wants people to feel that ‘Britain is back’ (
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Mr Starmer said he’s not been waking up in the middle of the night worried about the campaign because of “the confidence that comes with knowing we’re putting a powerful argument to the country, an argument we are really proud of”.

But he added: “We need to make sure that translates into votes and that nobody’s complacent and nobody thinks that it’s job done or we don’t need to come out to vote. You do. If you want change, you’ve got to vote for it… Many seats will go down to the wire, to a few hundred votes either way.”

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And despite appearing remarkably calm, he admitted he will be “pacing around” as he nervously waits for the exit poll to be announced when voting closes at 10pm on Thursday night. “I will certainly be pacing around somewhere, because that’s a very important moment,” he said. “They tend to be very accurate. I’m not quite sure where we’ll be, but there’ll be a lot of pacing until the details of the poll actually drop.”

Keir Starmer talks to the Mirror’s John Stevens (
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Mr Starmer laughed off Tory claims that he would be a “part-time PM” for wanting to spend time with his family. The party ramped up its attacks on the Labour leader after he suggested he’d try to make time in his diary on Friday evenings for his son, 16, and daughter, 13.

“It is utterly ridiculous, desperate and pathetic,” he said. “I laugh, but the serious bit of it is that they’ve seriously got nothing positive to say to the country. Nothing. No answer to the question of how would the country be better under your watch? They’ve given up on pretending that they’re going to improve things, and that’s because they can’t.”

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In contrast, Mr Starmer said he wants to “restore hope to the country” and “will be working from minute one, sleeves rolled up”. He added: “It’s desperately needed. Across the country, people are saying they want change. I haven’t met many people who’ve said, ‘I am perfectly happy with things as they are. I don’t want change’. Almost everybody says, ‘look, things aren’t working properly, the health service is on its knees, I don’t feel better off’.”

He added that he wanted a “feeling that Britain is back, that we have real pride in what we’re doing as a country”. “That matters to people,” he said. “People are hugely proud of their country and rightly so. We’ve got a lot to be proud of and want that restored. It’s bundled up with the hope we have of a better future.

“We are a great country. We’ve got incredible potential within our individuals, within our communities. There’s no community I’ve been to in this campaign or at any time I’ve been a politician that doesn’t have huge ambition for itself. All it wants is a government that shares and understands that ambition. We will weld that together, and we will stand tall as a country.”

Asked if the next time he speaks to the Mirror he will be PM, he said: “Let’s see where we are.”

But he insisted if he does become PM he will arrive at No10 with an umbrella because of forecasts of showers on Friday afternoon. “We will be well prepared,” he said.