Biden praises ‘special’ UK relationship as he congratulates Starmer on victory

US President Joe Biden has congratulated Sir Keir Starmer and said he looks forward to “further strengthening the special relationship” with the UK.

Both the White House and Downing Street have confirmed the two leaders shared a phone call earlier to day where they “reaffirmed the special relationship between our nations and the importance of working together in support of freedom and democracy around the world”.

A spokesperson in Washington said Mr Biden “conveyed that he is looking forward” to working closely with Prime Minister “on the full range of critical issues that affect our countries and committed to deepening U.S.-UK cooperation in the many areas of our shared interest.”

This included reiterating their continued support for Ukraine against Russian aggression and their commitment “to protecting the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and working with the leaders of Northern Ireland to create and sustain economic growth and opportunities.”

The two leaders said they look forward to meeting at the Nato summit next week.

A Downing Street spokesperson added: “The leaders discussed their shared commitment to the special relationship between the UK and US, and their aligned ambitions for greater economic growth.

“Discussing geopolitical challenges, the leaders reiterated their steadfast commitment to Ukraine and the Prime Minister underscored that the UK’s support for Ukraine was unwavering.

“The Prime Minister said he looked forward to working side by side across the breadth of the relationship, including the Aukus partnership and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific. The leaders reflected on their shared commitment to protecting the gains of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

“The Prime Minister and President looked forward to seeing each other at the Nato Summit in Washington next week.”

Sir Keir Starmer took the keys to Downing Street on Friday after voters handed Labour a landslide victory in the General Election, ending the party’s 14-year hiatus from power.

He will take over from Rishi Sunak, who will vacate No 10 after the Conservatives suffered a crushing defeat.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Biden wrote: “Congratulations to Prime Minister Keir Starmer on becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

“I look forward to our shared work in support of freedom and democracy around the world, and to further strengthening the special relationship between our two countries.”

Just days after his appointment, Sir Keir will be propelled onto the international stage, jetting to Washington DC for the Nato leaders’ summit, where discussions will include support for Ukraine.

The Labour leader may hold bilateral meetings with both President Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrat Biden is trying to secure a second term in power, with the 2024 election set for Tuesday, November 5.

The winner will serve a term of four years in the White House starting in January 2025.