Brown and Bush will not be ‘joined at the hip’

Newly appointed Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch Brown has said that prime minister Gordon Brown and US president George Bush will not be “joined at the hip”.

In comments likely to raise further questions about the future direction of US-UK relations under a Brown government, Lord Malloch Brown said it was time for coalitions that were “lateral”.

In his first interview since being appointed in Mr Brown’s government, the foreign office minister told the Daily Telegraph that new relationships with European leaders would see Britain’s foreign policy become more impartial.

“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,” Lord Malloch Brown said.

“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.”

Despite Mr Brown’s comments that the UK’s relationship with the US will remain close, some commentators suggested that the international development secretary Douglas Alexander’s comments in Washington earlier this week were critical of US foreign policy.

Lord Malloch Brown said that as well as strengthening transatlantic relations he hoped there would be “lots of exciting things to do” with new French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“My hope is that foreign policy will become much more impartial,” he added. “We have a whole set of emerging countries.”