Keir Starmer rebukes Donald Trump as he promises to 'stand up for allies'

ITV News Political Correspondent Tom Sheldrick explains why Keir Starmer's appearance at the Munich Security Conference shows he is preparing to step into Number 10

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to 'stand up' for Britain's allies if he becomes prime minister in an apparent swipe at Donald Trump's rhetoric.

The Labour leader, who is preparing for the next general election, made the pledge after a series of one-to-one world leaders at the Munich Security Conference this weekend.

In an interview with the Telegraph, he said: “We must rebuild, renew, and resource, not divide and threaten. Bad faith politics risks our security.”

With Labour comfortably ahead of the Conservative Party in the polls, Sir Keir appeared to be striking the tone of a prime minister in waiting as he rubbed shoulders with foreign and defence ministers.

He was the first Labour leader to attend the conference since his party was last in power.

While he doesn't name Mr Trump directly, his comments appear to be a reference to the presumed Republican presidential candidate's recent remarks on Nato.

The former president, who is hoping to take a second run at the White House, suggested at a recent campaign rally in South Carolina that the US would not protect any Nato members that "don't pay".

All Nato members contribute something towards the group's collective defence, but some nations within the transatlantic pact are not meeting its target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

Mr Trump referred to conversation he claimed to have with "one of the presidents of a big country", who he says asked him whether the US would step in if they were invaded by Russia even if they hadn't paid.

“No, I would not protect you,” he recalled, adding: “In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.”

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The White House later called Mr Trump’s remarks “appalling and unhinged”, while Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said they undermined the whole pact's security and put both American and European soldiers at risk.

Despite his barely concealed rebuke of Mr Trump, Sir Keir said a Labour government would work with whoever becomes the next US president.

Sir Keir, in a post on X, said he US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the crisis in the Middle East.

He added: “The relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is so valuable, for mutual economic and national security.”

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