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Sir Keir Starmer’s sister revealed to be ‘poorly paid’ former NHS nurse and care home worker

Revealed: The Kent care home where Sir Keir Starmer’s lowly paid sister works 12-hour shifts looking after the elderly

  • Katherine Swabey, 57, works 12-hour shifts in care home near Westerham, Kent 
  • She has been revealed as the ‘poorly paid’ care worker sister of Sir Keir Starmer, who launched a stinging tirade against Boris Johnson’s social care reform plans
  • As recently as last month, the mother-of-four was sharing a cramped three-bedroom annex with one of her grown up children and two grandchildren


This is the ‘poorly paid’ care worker sister of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, MailOnline can reveal.

Katherine Swabey, a former NHS nurse, works gruelling 12-hour shifts in a care home for the elderly close to the village of Westerham, Kent where she is responsible for overseeing dozens of vulnerable residents.

As recently as last month, Ms Swabey, 57, a mother of four, was sharing a cramped annex adjoining a large, detached house with one of her grown up children and two grandchildren.

She was helping her son to pay rent of around around £1,000 per month in the tiny, three-bedroom annex but has now moved to East Grinstead, where friends revealed she has bought a ‘modest home.’

Ms Swabey’s situation and struggle to make ends meet was highlighted by her illustrious brother Sir Keir in the House of Commons as he lashed out at Boris Johnson’s plans to reform social care.

Katherine Swabey, 57, works gruelling 12-hour shifts in a care home close to the village of Westerham, Kent where she is responsible for overseeing dozens of vulnerable residents

Neighbours described Ms Swabey (pictured above) as an ‘incredibly hard working’ woman, who has dedicated her life to her children and looking after others

Neighbours described Ms Swabey (pictured above) as an ‘incredibly hard working’ woman, who has dedicated her life to her children and looking after others

The Labour leader told MPs: ‘Can the Prime Minister guarantee that under his plan no-one will have to sell their home to fund their care – yes or no?’

Sir Keir added: ‘Social care is about so much more than this. 

‘The blunt and uncomfortable truth is that under the Prime Minister’s plans the quality of care received will not improve – there is no plan for that.

‘People will still go without the care that they need – there is no plan for that; Unpaid family carers will still be pushed to breaking point – there is no plan for that; Working-age adults with disabilities will have no more control under their lives – there is no plan for that; Pay and conditions will not improve for care workers – there is no plan for that.’ 

His tirade prompted the Prime Minister to shake his head and roll his eyes with the Labour leader hitting back: ‘Let me spell that out – a poorly-paid care worker will pay more tax for the care that they are providing without a penny more in their pay packet and without a secure contract. 

‘The Prime Minister shakes his head, my sister is a poorly-paid care worker, Prime Minister, so I know this first-hand.’ 

Neighbours described Ms Swabey as an ‘incredibly hard working’ woman, who has dedicated her life to her children and looking after others.

Ms Swabey’s situation and struggle to make ends meet was highlighted by her illustrious brother Sir Keir Starmer as he lashed out at Boris Johnson’s plans to reform social care. Pictured: Sir Keir addresses the House on Tuesday, September 7

Ms Swabey’s situation and struggle to make ends meet was highlighted by her illustrious brother Sir Keir Starmer as he lashed out at Boris Johnson’s plans to reform social care. Pictured: Sir Keir addresses the House on Tuesday, September 7

One neighbour said: ‘She’s a very down to earth woman and really big hearted. She works very hard and doesn’t get much money for it so things are difficult for her, but she has not let that get in her way.

‘It shows you what a wonderful person she is and it’s great that her brother has recognised her hard work and that of other carers.’

Ms Swabey’s four children have also praised her dedication.

One of them Sam, posted a moving social media post for Mother’s Day, declaring: ‘Happy mother’s day to the most incredible person I know. 

‘You truly are an inspiration to me and I appreciate everything you do for us. Love you lots Katy Swabey.’ 

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