Donald Trump’s potential re-election could pose a threat to the UK’s national security, a former head of MI6 has said.
Mr Trump is currently the Republican frontrunner to enter the US presidential race later this year.
Sir Richard, who led MI6 between 1999 and 2004, highlighted the potential issue of Mr Trump’s re-election when asked on the Sky News programme Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips about the biggest threats the UK should be paying attention to in 2024.
He said: “From an intelligence perspective, the two things we need to worry about are, obviously, Ukraine and what China’s long-term behaviour globally is going to be, particularly in relation to Taiwan and how threatening China is to Western interests.”
Sir Richard continued: “You have to add a political threat, which I’m worried about, which is Trump’s re-election, which I think for the UK’s national security is problematic because if Trump, as it were, acts hastily and damages the Atlantic Alliance, that is a big deal for the UK.
“We’ve put all our eggs in defence terms in the Nato basket.
“If Trump really is serious about, as it were, changing the balance, I mean, the American nuclear umbrella for Europe is, in my view, essential to Europe’s security and defence.”
Trump's continued popularity with the Republican Party base can be seen in the commanding lead he holds over fellow Republicans Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis as the three campaigned in Iowa on the eve of the first Republican presidential nominating contest.
The Des Moines Register/NBC News poll released late on Saturday gave Trump 48%, while former South Carolina Governor Haley jumped to second place with 20%, pushing Florida Governor DeSantis to third place with 16%.
The survey provided a strong indication Trump was poised to do well in Monday's caucuses, the first party voting contest ahead of the general election in November.
Victory in Iowa would cement Trump's status as the presumptive Republican nominee to face Democratic President Joe Biden in a rematch of their 2020 battle.