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Keir Starmer hails UK-US special relationship before meeting president Joe Biden at Nato summit – live

Rishi Sunak’s first speech as leader of opposition in House of Commons

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Sir Keir Starmer is attending the 75th summit of the Nato defence alliance in the US, where he will meet president Jo Biden at the White House in their first face-to-face meeting.

The prime minister said the meeting would be a chance to strengthen the “very special relationship” between the UK and US.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Sir Keir has been accused by shadow minister James Cartlidge of causing “massive uncertainty” for the UK’s armed forces after failing to set a deadline for increasing defence spending.

The PM said he was committed to spending 2.5% of GDP on defence “within our fiscal rules” but he cautioned that he needed to carry out a review before setting a timeline to reach that goal. Armed forces minister Luke Pollard said it would not be completed until next year.

In the Commons, hundreds of MPs continue the swearing in after Diane Abbott was praised by the PM on Tuesday during his first speech as prime minister, following tension between the two early in the campaign trail.

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Re-elected Speaker Hoyle always thinks ‘I’m in trouble’

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was re-elected as the new Commons speaker yesterday after he was dragged to his chair.

He has been asked by LBC how confident he was that he’d be re-elected, he said: “I always think I’m in trouble.

“I’m one of those candidates that always thinks the worst, never the best, of what the result can be.”

But he claimed he was “very pleased”, adding: “It was a ringing endorsement from all the political parties yesterday and I cannot thank them enough”.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is seeking re-election as Commons Speaker (Belinda Jiao/PA)
Sir Lindsay Hoyle is seeking re-election as Commons Speaker (Belinda Jiao/PA) (PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:40

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Suella Braverman: ‘Basic truths about Tories are not easy to hear’

Sulla Braverman has hit back at criticism after she called the Tories to provide a “credible” offer to Reform UK and abandon the “liberal conservatism” of Rishi Sunak. 

The former home secretary said “basic truths about our Party are not easy to hear”.

Mrs Braverman added that “the liberals are having a meltdown about my speech” but she will not stop speaking on behalf of the “common sense, patriotic, conservative majority”.

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:30

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Scottish Labour leader calls Starmer to scrap two child benefit cap

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour committed to scrapping the cap in their general election manifestos. Sir Keir said it was a “tough decision” not to promise to scrap it but said he would not make “unfunded promises”.

Our reporter Joe Middleton has the full story:

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:20

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David Lammy calls Russia to immediately release Russian-British national Vladimir Kara-Murza on humanitarian grounds.

The political activist, 42, went missing after he was transferred to a prison hospital on 4 July.

The foreign minister said: “Vladimir is being held in deplorable conditions in prison for having the courage to tell the truth about the war in Ukraine.

“His absurd 25-year sentence shows the Kremlin’s deep fear that more Russians will know the reality of Putin’s illegal war – and is further evidence of the targeted repression of the opposition.

“I am extremely concerned that Vladimir’s lawyers are being denied access to him in prison hospital, and that the Russian authorities continue to refuse him consular assistance from the British Embassy.

“I was particularly moved when I met his wife, Evgenia Kara-Murza, and mother, Elena Gordon, previously. Their determination and tireless campaigning are inspiring, and I look forward to meeting them again soon.”

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:10

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Starmer: Ukraine to use UK’s long-range missiles

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested that Ukraine will use long-range missiles supplied by the UK to counterattack military targets in Russia.

But the prime minister said decisions on the use of the Storm Shadow missiles will remain up to the Ukrainian armed forces.

He said: “UK military aid is “for defensive purposes but it is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy it for those defensive purposes.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv (Office of the President of Ukraine/PA)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv (Office of the President of Ukraine/PA) (PA Media)

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:01

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Nato Summit a first for new prime minister

Fresh off yesterday’s swearing in at the Commons, Sir Keir Starmer is attending his first international summit as prime minister.

The world leaders’ meeting in Washington DC is his chance to outline the Labour government’s foreign policy as well as setting out bilateral relations with allies.

With Ukraine on top of the agenda, Sir Keir pledged to mirror the Tories’ approach and continue to support Kyiv in its war against Russia’s invasion.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria disembark from their plane at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC, U.S., to attend a Nato summit
British Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria disembark from their plane at Joint Base Andrews, Washington DC, U.S., to attend a Nato summit (via REUTERS)

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 13:00

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Tugendhat accuses Labour of ‘compromising’ on UK defence

Tom Tugendhat has accused the Labour government of “compromising” on the UK’s defence and security after Sir Keir Starmer refused to set out a timeline for increasing spending.

The former security minister, who has been tipped as a Tory leadership candidate, said Labour made a “vague commitment” and had “no plan to deliver it”.

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 12:50

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Starmer pushing ahead with EU security pact to reshape Brexit

Speculation that talks are set to begin on the fringes of the Nato conference in Washington DC was heightened by his decision to bring his new minister for European relations, Nick Thomas-Symonds.

The new prime minister is also set to host the European Political Community (EPC) next week, a forum created by Emmanuel Macron to facilitate European relations post-Brexit.

It is expected the subject of the security pact will be broached there too, leading to speculation Labour will begin the process of integrating UK forces with those of the EU.

Our political editor David Maddox has the full story:

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 12:49

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Starmer wants Nato to ‘lock in’ Trump proof Ukraine military aid plan

But he again declined to give a timetable for when his “iron clad commitment” to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent will come into force.

His comments came as it emerged he had not been included in a discussion on air cover for Ukraine organised by the US government and including other allies.

Our political editor David Maddox is reporting from Washington DC:

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 12:40

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What happened on day one of the Nato summit?

Sir Keir Starmer is in Washington for a three-day Nato summit which began on Tuesday during which world leaders reaffirmed their support of Ukraine.

On day one, US president Joe Biden announced the alliance would deploy dozens new air defence systems for Ukraine. In a speech, he said: “This moment in history calls for our collective strength”.

He also reassured state leaders about the upcoming US election in November amid concerns over a Donald Trump comeback, who has been critical of the military alliance.

President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a keynote speech urging allies to take decisive action against Russia’s offensive.

Salma Ouaguira10 July 2024 12:30


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