Keir Starmer meets President Biden at Oval Office after pushing Nato to support Ukraine

Just a few days after taking office, Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is at Nato's 75th summit in Washington, as Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana reports

Prime Minister Keir Starmer has met US President Joe Biden at the White House after meeting world leaders at Nato's 75th summit.

Starmer met Biden as the 81-year-old American president is plagued with speculation about whether he is fit to run for re-election.

The PM, who is a loyal Arsenal supporter, presented Biden with a jersey of his favourite team, personalised with his surname and the number 46.

He also gifted the 46th American president a copy of the Atlantic Charter, which paved the way for the formation of Nato, complete with then-Labour leader Clement Attlee’s amendments.

The PM also suggested football was coming home following England’s semi-final win against the Netherlands.

When Sir Keir was asked if football was coming home, he said: “It looks like it.”

Biden replied: “It’s because of the Prime Minister."

Starmer also promised that the UK will support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” as he confirms the £3 billion a year funding package for Kyiv will continue.

The PM, who met President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier in the day, will tell members of the alliance that they need to send a “clear message” to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Credit: PA

Starmer told Zelenskyy that there has been “a change of government but no change in position” with regards to the UK’s support for Ukraine.

Zelenskyy thanked Sir Keir for his words and for Britain’s support, saying: “Thank you again that you are with us from the very beginning of the war."

He added on X he was “grateful to the UK for its unwavering support for Ukraine and our people”. He wrote: “I thanked Prime Minister Starmer for all the UK’s military and financial assistance provided to our country. “This morning, I learned about the permission to use Storm Shadow missiles against military targets in Russian territory.

Starmer has also held meetings with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Both leaders agreed that the Nato summit was an opportunity to strengthen support for Ukraine and said they would work “at pace” to deepen UK-Germany defence ties.

Starmer appeared alongside President Biden and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Credit: PA

“The Chancellor welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to resetting the UK’s European partnerships, noting how important our friendships with like-minded countries will be in a challenging international environment,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

The PM said meeting other world leaders was “an opportunity to make sure that those relationships are reset, for me to be able to say that our position on the world stage – leading on issues like defence and security, on climate change, and on energy – are so important”.

He added that he will have a "cast-iron" commitment to spending 2.5% of GDP on defence, but refused to put a time frame on that pledge.

Instead, a strategic defence review will be launched next week.

The war in Ukraine is dominating the agenda at the summit, particularly after the horrific attack on Kyiv's children's hospital earlier this week.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday: "I expect allies to agree a substantial package" of funding for Ukraine.

President Biden announced new air defences for Ukraine on Tuesday, in a speech opening the summit.

Starmer had his first meeting at Nato with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Credit: PA

Starmer celebrated during his Nato visit as Harry Kane scored the equalising penalty for England against the Netherlands in the Euro semi-final

Biden suffered two big blows on Wednesday as former Speaker and senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi suggested he should reconsider running, while actor and "lifelong Democrat" George Clooney said "we are not going to win" with Biden.

Starmer suggested Biden is not too old when speaking to reporters on Tuesday, after he was asked about plans to age cap House of Lords members at 80.

Starmer said his plans were about cutting numbers in the Lords, and did not apply to world leaders like 81-year-old Biden - "it doesn’t reflect on how other elected representatives are chosen in other countries", he said.

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