1. ITV Report

PM visit to the US mixes pleasure with politics

Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama greet each other at the official welcoming ceremony Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

There may have been a bottle or two of champagne opened on the Prime Minister's plane on the way home and after one of the most successful visits in years who could blame them. This trip was a marked contrast to the first time the two men met on a much more business-like basis. This time, if there were bells, they were rung and whistles were blown to make sure no one was in any doubt that it is a durable, warm and highly important relationship for America and the man who lives at the White House.

We tend to see only the broad brush strokes of policy on Afghanistan, Iran, and the economy and much of the real work done on this trip will be carrying on for months now ahead of the G8 and NATO summits taking place in May at Camp David and NATO. But the ceremony, the glamour and the majesty of the state visit is what fills the news bulletins and newspapers and the White House pushed out every boat at its disposal as far as it would go.

Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama in Ohio as they watch a basketball game Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

I’m sure that among the moments that David Cameron will remember best will be the basketball game in Ohio (and he will have had to do more preparation for that than almost any other subject!), as well as the opening ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House under a blistering sun with marching bands, military parades and thousands of well wishers, which no one present could ever forget. The memory of standing by the newly built reflecting pool at Ground Zero would have been very poignant for both of them, bringing back memories of the day itself when Samantha, just two months pregnant, was in New York and unable to contact her husband for many hours.

The Prime Minister told me yesterday that those terror attacks are still a constant reminder of why the US and UK need to keep working together closely to try to keep the nations secure from further terrorism.

Prime Minister David Cameron, visits Ground Zero with his wife Samantha Cameron Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

More on this story