Keir Starmer to accuse PM of being 'Britain's Trump' in speech on UK-US relations

15 January 2021, 23:07 | Updated: 15 January 2021, 23:10

Sir Keir Starmer will accuse Boris Johnson as getting too close to Donald Trump
Sir Keir Starmer will accuse Boris Johnson as getting too close to Donald Trump. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Sir Keir Starmer will accuse Boris Johnson of "courting the idea that he is Britain's Trump" as he sets out his party's agenda for UK-US relations ahead of the G7 summit later this year.

In a keynote address to the Fabian Society conference on Saturday, the Labour leader will accuse the Prime Minister of getting too close to the outgoing president.

Sir Keir will lay out an "incredibly optimistic" vision for the future between the two countries as Joe Biden prepares to take over the Presidency.

He will say that while Mr Johnson has spent the last few years "cosying up to people who don't have Britain's interests at heart" a Labour Government would seek to make Britain a "moral force for good in the world".

The Labour leader will accuse Boris Johnson of "cosying up" to Donald Trump in a speech on Saturday
The Labour leader will accuse Boris Johnson of "cosying up" to Donald Trump in a speech on Saturday. Picture: PA Images

"We need to seize this chance to lead again, just as Blair and Brown did over global poverty and the financial crisis," he will say, according to advance extracts of his speech.

Sir Keir will say he is "incredibly optimistic" about prospects for building a new relationship with the Biden administration, arguing that the UK is at is strongest when it is "the bridge between the US and the rest of Europe".

"This isn't a normal transition of power from one president to another. The pictures on our TVs in the last few weeks make that clear. The US is more divided than at any time I can remember," he will say.

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Drawing on the examples of the work done under former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, he will call on the PM to use this year's hosting of the summit to bring countries together to rebuild after the pandemic.

"This is a moment of huge optimism, of hope winning out over hate - and it can also be a turning point," he will say, "not just in America but also for Britain's relationship with the US and for global politics."

At the same time, Sir Keir will say he would look to build a "close economic relationship" with the EU rooted in shared values with high standards and protections for businesses, working people and the environment.

"Of course Boris Johnson will never do that; he wants something completely different from Brexit.

"And we're already seeing that workers' rights are at risk, the 48-hour week and the working time directive could be ripped up."

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