Sir Keir Starmer meets with German politicians and businessmen on trip to Berlin
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has met with German politicians and businessmen on the first day of a two-day trip to Berlin.
Sir Keir was joined by shadow foreign secretary David Lammy in a meeting with senior members of the newly formed Social Democratic Party (SPD) government on Thursday.
The pair arrived at the German Chancellery at around noon to meet Wolfgang Schmidt, Germany’s federal minister for special affairs, head of the chancellery and commissioner for the Federal Intelligence Service.
The Labour Party officials were photographed outside The Reichstag, the German equivalent of the Houses of Parliament.
During the private meeting, the three discussed the SPD’s win in 2021 after Olaf Scholz was elected Chancellor, according to Labour.
Sir Keir and Mr Lammy later visited a business start-up hub, meeting with entrepreneurs and the CEOs of leading business support groups.
The pair are set to attend meetings with Mr Scholz and former German minister of foreign affairs Sigmar Gabriel on Friday.
Sir Keir is expected to tell Mr Scholz that Labour is ready to form a government and has a plan to ensure Britain and Germany can work closely together to help boost economic growth, harness the opportunities of a transition to greater environmental sustainability, and continue to stand united against Russian aggression, the Labour Party said.
During their visit, they are also aiming to find out what Britain can learn from the best economic models around the world, and how a possible future Labour government could work with other European nations to navigate a post-Brexit world.
Thursday also saw them visit the Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe to reflect and remember the millions killed in the Holocaust.
Sir Keir took a guided tour of the memorial and signed a guest book before posing for photos with three students from Loughborough in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
The Labour leader lambasted the Tories as being “in complete disarray” and “totally dysfunctional” amid the party’s ongoing leadership contest, as he spoke to reporters in Berlin.
He also said he wants a general election and a “fresh start” for Britain as Boris Johnson steps down.
Sir Keir said: “I don’t think the answer to the stagnation of the last 12 years is to change the candidate or the leader of the Tory Party.
“We need much more fundamental change that, therefore, whoever emerges as the new leader of the Conservative Party is not going to be able to address the fundamental failure of the last 12 years.
“This is like a club that’s sinking into relegation, desperately changing the manager. That is not the change that we need. We need to change the Government, a fresh start for Britain, and that is what my Labour Party is able to offer.”
Sir Keir and Mr Lammy touched down in Berlin on Thursday morning after their British Airways flight from Heathrow Airport was delayed by around 45 minutes.