Labour’s Lammy aims for UK foreign policy reset, Reeves tasked with fixing economy

LONDON: Labour’s David Lemmy is set to become Britain’s next foreign secretary, pledging to reset relations with the European Union and insist on a ceasefire in Gaza, while seeking to build ties with Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

The centre-left Labor Party won a landslide victory in Thursday’s general election, ending 14 years of Conservative government and promising to bring change to Britain.

While the six initial priorities promised in his election manifesto are focused on domestic issues, a long list of international issues await Lamy in his lane.

Labor said long-term peace and security in the Middle East would be the immediate focus. It pledged to recognize a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process that results in a two-state solution.

Lammy, 51, traveled extensively before the election, particularly to the United States, where he worked to build ties with Republicans after he once wrote in Time magazine that Trump was a “woman-hating neo-Nazi sociopath.”

He met Republican figures considered candidates for roles in Trump’s cabinet, including Mike Pompeo.

Lammy has strong ties to leading Democrats and is a close friend of former President Barack Obama, a fellow Harvard Law graduate.

CAUSE
Speaking during a visit there in May, Lammy said Labor would always work with the United States “regardless of the weather and whoever wins” and would seek to find “common ground” with Trump.

“I don’t believe he is arguing that the US should leave Europe.” He wants Europeans to do more to ensure a better-defended Europe,” he said.

“Were his words in the office shocking? Yes they are. Would we use them? Not. But US spending on European defense has actually increased under President Trump, as has defense spending for the broader alliance, during his tenure.

Lami, the son of Guyanese immigrants, represents an inner London constituency and has spent much of his political career campaigning for social and racial justice.

He supported Britain remaining in the European Union in the 2016 referendum. Although Labor has vowed to keep Britain out of the bloc, it wants to reset relations and try to deepen ties, including a new UK-EU security pact.

Lamy has previously described Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Rally (NR), as xenophobic and malicious. Polls show her party is on track to win the most seats in the French parliamentary elections, but falls short of an absolute majority.

“France is one of Britain’s closest allies and we will work with whoever is chosen.” It’s a democracy and it’s up to the French people to govern it,” Lamy told reporters earlier this week. “We will wait and see what happens in the second round on July 7.”

FIRST WOMAN CHANCELLOR

Rachel Reeves became Britain’s first Chancellor of the Exchequer on Friday, and the former junior chess champion’s initial gambit will be to try to boost growth without sacrificing the party’s newfound image of fiscal responsibility.

A former Bank of England economist, Reeves, 45, has been tasked in opposition with mending relations with the business community that have been strained under left-wing ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and is suggesting to voters that the party can be trusted with their money.

Appointed as Labour’s head of financial policy in 2021 after a rocky start to new Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s leadership, she has become synonymous with his approach of putting pragmatism ahead of ideology and confronting those on the left who want a more fiscally loose approach.

With Labour’s landslide election victory confirmed on Friday, she will now have to navigate a complicated fiscal picture and quickly boost growth if promised investment boosts are delivered without tax increases.

She said it was the “honour of my life” and a “historic responsibility” to be the first woman to be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Britain’s chief economic and financial policymaker is called.

“We have waited a long time to have the opportunity to serve our country.” We now have a credible plan to achieve the changes the country needs. Growing our economy is at the heart of it,” Reeves told reporters on the sidelines of the party’s manifesto launch in Manchester.

“The opportunity to be Britain’s first female Chancellor of the Exchequer – that would give me enormous pride, but also give me an enormous responsibility: to pass on to our daughters and our grandchildren a fairer society.” That is what I am determined to do.”

Yvette Cooper becomes Home Secretary, known as the Home Secretary, overseeing Homeland Security and the Police.

Ed Miliband, who becomes energy security and Net Zero minister, led Labor in the 2015 election, which the party lost by an unexpectedly wide margin that led to his resignation.

He has since renewed his political career around environmental and climate issues.

Miliband will play a central role in delivering Labour’s plan to make Britain a “clean energy superpower” by creating a publicly owned energy company with powers to invest in new green projects alongside the private sector.

Angela Rainer, appointed by Starmer as his deputy prime minister, will also serve as secretary for equalization, housing and communities.

* With Reuters, AFP and AP

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