Mother of 'Baby of the House' Labour MP Keir Mather, 25, defends him

Mum to the rescue! Mother of new ‘Baby of the House’ Labour MP Keir Mather, 25, insists he is ‘perfectly qualified’ to be next PM ‘because he has worked in a cafe, a butchers’ van and sold paella on the streets’

  • Keir Mather will be ‘baby’ of Commons after winning Selby & Ainsty by-election 

The protective mum of Labour’s newest and youngest MP defended him today – and insisted he has ‘seen something of life’ – after he was branded an inexperienced ‘Inbetweener’ who robotically parrots party lines fed to him by Sir Keir Starmer and his cronies.

Jill Tambarros, from Hull, has said she started yelling in the middle of the night when her son won a huge majority in the Selby and Ainsty by-election and admitted he could be prime minister one day.

Johnny Mercer wrote him off today, declaring: ‘You’ve got to have people who have actually done stuff. This guy has been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job’.

But Keir’s mum insists part-time jobs in a cafe, a butcher’s van and selling street food as well as living off a student loan, will have prepared him well for life in Parliament. 

Describing what happened when the 25-year-old she named after Labour’s first leader beat the Tories, Mrs Tambarros said: ‘I did scream my head off. My Apple watch went off the decibel scale’. 

And hitting back at criticism that he has spent more time at Oxford University than in the world of work, she told Sky News: ‘He has seen something of life. He does not appear to be like a 25-year-old – he’s confident, he’s mature, he’s got a good head on his shoulders.’

His proud mum added: ‘He’s got experience in parliament and he’s been working with the CBI as well so he’s done a lot. Plus he’s done other things, like working in a cafe, working on the street selling paella, chopping up meat in a butcher’s van, so he has seen something of life’.

By election winner and Labour Party candidate Keir Mather speaks at Selby Leisure Centre. His mum Jill has spoken to defend his age and experience today

Mr Mercer said the new MP (pictured) had ‘been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job’

As he made reference to the cult TV series, Mr Mercer added: ‘We mustn’t become a repeat of The Inbetweeners.’

Keir Mather graduated from Oxford University only four years ago before landing his first job as a party researcher for Wes Streeting, who is now shadow health secretary. He has most recently worked as a senior public affairs adviser for the CBI. 

‘And living on a student grant is quite hard as well so you really do have to budget, so it’s not as if he hasn’t ever done anything, so I think he’s got a lot to offer. ‘

Asked if he could become prime minister one day, she said: ‘Why not? Never say never. He’s 25, he’s really excelled so far, so what’s to stop him excelling further? He’s got a lot of time to do it.’

The 25-year-old new Labour MP was named after his party’s first leader by his Left-wing parents and his step-dad, nicknamed ‘Gorgeous George’, starred in Come Dine With Me, MailOnline can reveal today.

Mr Mather, the son of two teachers from Hull, is an Oxford graduate who was parachuted into Selby in June. His candidacy in Selby was supported by the GMB and Unison unions.

The connections with the Labour leader don’t end there, Mr Mather was named after Keir Hardie, the Scottish trade unionist and founder of the Labour Party – just like Mr Starmer.




Labour’s newest and youngest MP is set to become the ‘baby’ of the House of Commons after winning a majority in the Selby and Ainsty by-election last night.

But the 25-year-old, the first MP to have been born after Tony Blair became Prime Minister, was mocked by Tory minister Johnny Mercer as ‘a repeat of The Inbetweeners’.

Mr Mercer said the history and politics graduate had ‘been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job’ and warned he should not expect a warm welcome from the Conservative benches at Westminster. 

He also suggested the Hull-born politician, who had most recently worked as a public affairs adviser at the Confederation of British Industry, was ‘inauthentic’. Mr Mercer claimed he ‘just relays Labour lines’ and has ‘a Labour chip’ in him.

Twenty-five-year-old Keir Mather is set to become the ‘baby’ of the House of Commons after winning the Selby and Ainsty by-election for Labour. Johnny Mercer, the veterans minister, swiped that Mr Mather ‘just relays Labour lines’ and has ‘a Labour chip’ in him 

Mr Mather is named after Keir Hardie, just like Labour’s leader Keir Starmer

Mr Mather, who shares the same name as current Labour leader Keir Starmer – named after the first Labour Party leader Keir Hardie – studied at Oxford between 2016 and 2019 before spending a year as a researcher for Mr Streeting. 

Asked on Sky News whether he was looking forward to a fresh injection of youth into the Commons, Mr Mercer said: ‘It’s always good to get new people in politics.’

But, as he made reference to the cult TV series, he added: ‘We mustn’t become a repeat of The Inbetweeners. You’ve got to have people who have actually done stuff.

‘This guy has been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job. You put a chip in him and he just relays Labour lines. The problem is people have had enough of that.

‘They want people who are authentic, people who have worked in that constituency, who know what life is like, who understand what life is like to live, work and raise a family in communities like theirs.

‘So, no, I’m afraid I don’t agree with this style of politics. It’s exactly why people like me didn’t vote before the 2015 election.

‘Because you’ve got people with nothing to do with the constituency just dropped in and, put a chip in them, and they’ll start parroting Labour Party politics.’

Shortly after being declared the winner in Selby and Ainsty, in North Yorkshire, Mr Mather said he hoped to be ‘a representative for the power that young people have to make a difference’.

Asked about whether he could fully understand voters’ concerns at the age of 25, he said: ‘Well, I’m a taxpayer too, I feel the pressures like anyone else.’

The Tories lost another huge majority in Selby and Ainsty as Labour gained the North Yorkshire seat by more than 4,000 votes

But the Tory majority in Somerton and Frome crumbled as the Lib Dems won the by-election by 11,000 votes

The Conservatives clung onto Uxbridge and South Ruislip, in west London, by less than 500 votes to avert a complete by-election wipeout

Sir Keir said Mr Mather’s victory demonstrates the ‘demand for change’. He tweeted: ‘Congratulations Keir Mather, Labour’s new MP for Selby and Ainsty!

‘Last night, Selby and Ainsty made history. This incredible result shows how powerful the demand for change is. Only Labour can deliver that change, and build a better Britain.’

New Labour MP Keir Mather joked he had ‘heard far worse’ when asked how he felt about becoming ‘the Baby of the House’.

He will become the youngest MP in the Commons after overturning the Tories’  20,137 majority in the Yorkshire seat.

In a speech after he was declared by-election winner, Mr Mather said he ‘understood the enormity of what has just happened’.

‘We have rewritten the rules on where Labour can win. People have opened their doors to us and embraced our positive vision for the future,’ he said.

‘The people of Selby & Ainsty have sent a clear message. For too long, Conservatives up here and in Westminster have failed us, and today that changes.

‘Over the past few months, speaking to hundreds of people on the doorstep, I’ve encountered so much hardship. Hardship made worse by 13 years of negligence and complacency from the Conservatives.’

At the count at Selby Leisure Centre, Mr Mather told reporters: ‘As a young person in politics, I really hope to be a representative for the power that young people have to make a difference.’

Labour candidate Keir Mather says his age does not mean he can’t understand the lives of voters

Mr Mather said his first priority would be setting up financial support centres in the constituency, for people to get expert help with issues including mortgage payments and energy bills.

He told journalists he supported Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s policy of keeping the two-child benefit cap, saying: ‘I think we’re going to inherit an absolute economic mess from the Conservatives when we take power and we’re going to have to make extremely difficult decisions once we do, and I support the Labour government in doing so.’

Mr Mather said the cost-of-living crisis was the number one issue on the doorstep throughout the campaign.

Asked if people were voting for Labour or against the Tories, he said: ‘Well, I make no bones about it, I think local residents were extremely frustrated at the way the Conservative MP (Nigel Adams) stepped down, but they only voted Labour to the extent that they did because they knew we had a plan that would actually deliver on their concerns.’

After Mr Mather’s speech, defeated Conservative candidate Claire Holmes left the venue without talking to reporters.

Labour have said Mr Mather was born in Hull and grew up near Selby, before going to Oxford.

The party said he has most recently worked as a senior public affairs adviser for the CBI. 

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