An impersonator of Sir Keir Starmer had relationships with women and attempted to buy art and a house in his name while the Labour leader was the director of public prosecutions.
Paul Bint answered lonely hearts adverts in the Sunday Times pretending to be Sir Keir, and was eventually caught after charging taxi fares to the Crown Prosecution Service, the Labour leader told Piers Morgan in an episode of Life Stories due to air on Tuesday.
Sir Keir said: “He would take a taxi down to see one of the women that he was seeing as Keir Starmer, down to the West Country, and say put the bill on the Crown Prosecution Service, director of public prosecutions.
“But one of the cabbies turned up at my office and said ‘I want my bleep money’. That’s when everybody started to realise what was happening and the art gallery was phoning me up to say do you want to complete on this £80,000 piece of art etcetera.
“So it all became clear that this was happening. There was a trial, the two women gave evidence about what he had done. He had stolen from them, it was a real exploitation.”
But he said one thing that stuck in his head was the difference in appearance between him and his impersonator, and he said at court the women “were shown a picture of me and a picture of Paul Bint and asked: ‘Well, you know, didn’t you think that this wasn’t him?’ And one of them said ‘well, everybody can have an off day’.”
In his real love life, however, Sir Keir said he considered himself a romantic and spoke about supporting his wife, Victoria.
“You can buy flowers on someone’s birthday, you can do (that) on the traditional occasions, etcetera etcetera. That is good. That is fantastic. And so you should, and you’re not going to be forgiven if you don’t,” he told Mr Morgan.
“What matters is are you there when that person absolutely needs you? So, when Vic has needed me, I’ve tried to be there.”
In January 2020, Sir Keir cancelled leadership campaigning after his wife’s mother fell down the stairs, and subsequently died, and Morgan asked whether this was an example of putting his family before politics.
“Yes,” he said. “I took the decision to cancel the leadership campaigning and withdrew completely.
“I had to be there and try to do something I’d never done before which was to comfort someone who was going through grief.
“I’d done it, my mum had died, I’d been through my version of that grief, but to see your wife go through it is deep.
“That was hard, important, and for me that meant more than whether I bought flowers on this occasion or that occasion. The decision was obvious, I was never making a different decision. And Vic would do exactly the same for me.”
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories with Sir Keir Starmer airs tonight at 9.30pm on ITV.