Miliband refutes UK-US 'cooling'

David Miliband has reiterated the importance of the UK-US relationship
David Miliband has reiterated the importance of the UK-US relationship

Foreign secretary David Miliband has refuted claims that Britain's relationship with the US is set to cool under new prime minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Miliband sought to redress some opinions currently being propagated by other government ministers, such as Lord Malloch Brown, who told the Daily Telegraph yesterday that Britain and the US would no longer be "joined at the hip".

International development secretary Douglas Alexander's comments were also seized upon after he appeared to criticise US foreign policy in a speech in Washington earlier this week.

However, writing in the News of the World, Mr Miliband said that nothing had changed regarding the so called 'special relationship'.


"With a new Brown government, some people are looking for evidence that our alliance is breaking up," Mr Miliband wrote. "There isn't any and there won't be any."

He added: "Nothing has changed. Our strongest bilateral relationship is with the US."

Lord Malloch Brown issued a statement after his Telegraph interview saying that he agrees with Mr Brown's strong relationship with the US, but his comments made to the newspaper had already sparked debate.

He told the paper: "It is very unlikely that the Brown-Bush relationship is going to go through the baptism of fire and therefore be joined together at the hip like the Blair-Bush relationship was.

"That was a relationship born of being war leaders together. There was an emotional intensity of being war leaders with much of the world against them. That is enough to put you on your knees and get you praying together."

But Mr Miliband and Mr Brown have presented a unified front over the US and in his first media comments after taking over at the Foreign Office, Mr Miliband was very clear in his support for transatlantic relations.

"We should be absolutely defiant against those who believe that anti-Americanism is a route to make the world a better place," he told the Financial Times.

"I don't believe you can solve any of the world's big problems without the active engagement of the United States."

Comments

Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.