Labour commits to working with Donald Trump if he wins US presidency

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said there would be 'some differences' between Labour and Trump but pledged to 'work together'.

Labour's Sir Keir Starmer and David Lammy have committed to working with Donald Trump if he wins the US presidency. (Getty Images)
Labour's Sir Keir Starmer and David Lammy have committed to working with Donald Trump if he wins the US presidency. (Getty Images)

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has committed Labour to working with Donald Trump if he wins the US presidency.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Lammy said: "There will be some differences, but there are many more areas on which we can continue to work together." He added: "There is absolutely no place for a cancel culture" under a Labour government "with so many people depending on Britain taking its place seriously on the world stage once again".

Lammy's comments indicate a softening of tone from Labour towards Trump, with both seemingly on course to be in power in a year's time. Labour, according to YouGov's latest voting intention poll, has a 23-point lead over the Conservatives, with Rishi Sunak saying he will call an election in the second half of the year.

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In the US, Trump – in spite of the criminal cases he is facing – is the overwhelming favourite to win the Republican nomination. And as of Sunday, the Oddschecker website has him as 26/19 favourite to beat Joe Biden (9/4) in the presidential election in November.

It also marks a softening of tone from Lammy himself, having been a frequent and outspoken critic of Trump in his first term between 2017 and 2021, during which he labelled him a "racist KKK and Nazi sympathiser". Ahead of the 2020 election, Lammy said on his LBC show: "I can't wait to see the back of Donald Trump and I hope the good people of America have the good sense to turf him out of office very very shortly indeed."

Lammy's comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said of a potential Trump presidency in September last year: "We have to make it work. That doesn't mean that we would agree on everything, but we have to make it work."

Starmer has also said a Trump presidency is not his "desired outcome", and in a speech last month unfavourably compared the Conservative Party to him: "These aren't Churchill's Tories anymore. If anything they behave more and more like Donald Trump. They look at the politics of America and they want to bring that here."

Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer gestures as he leaves from the BBC in central London on January 14, 2024, after appearing on the BBC's 'Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg' political television show. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sir Keir Starmer's Labour has a 23-point poll lead. (AFP via Getty Images)

Trump leveraging criminal cases as part of campaign

Trump has embraced his indictments in four separate criminal cases – unprecedented for a former US president – and leveraged them to boost his popularity among Republicans and raise funds, helping to make him the Republican frontrunner with 49% in the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Wednesday.

Trump has called the indictments a political witch hunt to thwart his pursuit of a second four-year term, an assertion that the Justice Department has denied. If elected again, Trump has vowed revenge against his perceived enemies and has adopted increasingly authoritarian language, including saying he would not be a dictator except "on day one".

He has promised other sweeping changes, including gutting the federal civil service to install loyalists and imposing tougher immigration policies such as mass deportations and ending birthright citizenship. He has also promised to eliminate Obamacare health insurance and impose harsher curbs on trade with China.