Wannabe Keir Starmers can live in his old student house in Leeds with two other law students

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By Aishah Hussain on

Recreate likely Labour leader-to-be’s university life

Labour leadership contender Keir Starmer on the street he lived on as a law student

Politically-minded law students will be pleased to know you can now live in the ex-student digs of likely Labour leader-to-be Keir Starmer.

In a short campaign vid posted on Facebook last week, Starmer, a Leeds University law grad, revisited Hyde Park, Leeds, where he lived as a student for three years. “It was a fantastic period of my life and I’ve always been really really fond of Leeds and Leeds Law School ever since,” he tells viewers.

Also featuring in the minute-long clip is the street — 22 Chestnut Avenue — in which the former law student lived. And it appears there’s a room going in that very house.

Speaking to The Tab, a former tenant, Elizabeth Shanks, whose two housemates currently reside in the property and are all coincidentally law students, said “it was a bit surreal to discover he’d lived in our house! We didn’t know ’til we saw the video.”

Shanks has reportedly moved out meaning her room in Starmer’s old gaff is up for grabs. A listing she posted to Facebook shows the house has a total of six bedrooms, with her room priced at £80-£106 per week. It’s a short walk to Leeds Uni and there’s also a Sainsbury’s nearby, she writes. It’s available until June this year so Starmer superfans should probably get in there quick!

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Starmer graduated with a first class law degree from Leeds Uni in 1985 and obtained a Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) from Oxford University the following year. In the clip he explains that during the second year of his undergraduate degree he studied international human rights law which set him up for the bar and to then specialise in the field as a barrister at famed human rights set Doughty Street Chambers.

Rumoured to be the real life inspiration for Mark Darcy of Bridget Jones’ Diary fame, Starmer was appointed QC in 2002, the same year he became joint head of Doughty Street.

In 2008 he switched sides and became head of the Crown Prosecution Service and Director of Public Prosecutions. He left office in 2013 and was elected as the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras in the 2015 general election. He is presently the shadow Brexit secretary for Labour and a frontrunner in the party’s leadership contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. Voting begins on Friday.

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