Labour government will ‘have to make it work’ if Trump wins, says Starmer

<span>Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

A future Labour government would “have to make it work” if Donald Trump succeeds in winning the next US general election, Keir Starmer has said.

The disgraced former president is bidding to return to the White House next year despite the long list of criminal and civil lawsuits against him, and could thus be in power at the same time as Starmer, who would become the first Labour prime minister since 2010 if his party wins the next general election.

Speaking to the BBC’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast, Starmer said: “We have to make it work. That doesn’t mean that, you know, we would agree on everything, but we have to make it work.

“I mean, I think one of the things about being a leader is you don’t get to choose the other leaders around the world.

“That is the job of democracies where there are democracies. But in a grown-up world, you have to make that relationship work.”

The Labour leader earlier this month told Politico’s Power Play podcast that a Trump victory in 2024 would not be his “desired outcome”.

Starmer was also reported to have discussed the possibility of a second Trump presidency with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, during a meeting in Paris earlier this month.

His remarks come at a time when senior figures within Labour have been courting representatives from Joe Biden’s Democrats, according to the Financial Times.

The shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, was also expected to travel to Washington with the shadow defence secretary, John Healey, for meetings with Democratic and Republican politicians and officials.

Meanwhile, Starmer told the BBC’s Robinson that the impact of his position is the “single thing” that keeps him awake at night.

“I am worried about my children. That is probably the single thing that does keep me awake as to how we will protect them through this,” he said. “Now, at the moment we’re in the stage [of] ‘let’s take each day as it comes’.

“So, we don’t do the great planning or anything like that. That would be, you know, presumptuous. But we do try to protect them.

“We don’t name them in public. My boy’s 15. My girl is 12. I want to protect them. We don’t use photos of them in any way. I want for as long as I can to preserve that space for them – but I am worried.”