- Boris Johnson | Nato is rock solid
- World leaders gathered in Watford
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- Inside the room with Donald Trump
Nato leaders Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau have been caught on camera appearing to mock Donald Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception.
A huddle which also included the Princess Royal was filmed apparently gossiping about the US president’s unorthodox style on Tuesday night, although Mr Trump is not mentioned by name.
Mr Trump was scheduled to turn up with Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg for a five-minute photocall on Monday morning inside the US ambassador’s residence in London.
It turned into an almost hour-long, frenzied press conference, which the world leaders later appeared to mock.
During the casual chat, as the leaders sipped drinks, Mr Johnson can be heard asking French President Emmanuel Macron: "Is that why you were late?"
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says: "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top."
Later in the conversation Mr Trudeau adds: "You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor."
It came after Mr Trump branded Mr Macron’s comments that Nato is "brain dead" as "very nasty", before the pair met on Tuesday at the US ambassador’s residence in London.
The leaders were hosted at Buckingham Palace by The Queen on Monday night and today are in Watford for behind-closed-doors talks.
Melania Trump serenaded with rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You
With the world leaders locked behind closed doors, their other halves were forced to entertain themselves on Wednesday afternoon.
So, away from the gravity of the summit in Hertfordshire, Melania Trump visited a charity hub in the captial.
She was serenaded with a rendition of Mariah Carey’s festive classic All I Want For Christmas Is You as she dropped by a Salvation Army centre in east London.
The US First Lady bobbed her head slightly as around 30 children from Baden Powell Primary School belted out the well-known Christmas song.
Wearing a black and white houndstooth check coat over a black sheath dress, the wife of US President Donald Trump appeared to say "bravo" as she congratulated the ensemble.
She also spent around 20 minutes helping the school children make Christmas wreaths, using sparkly pipe cleaners, pine cones and tinsel.
Mrs Trump beamed throughout the visit, commending the Christmas hat-clad youngsters on their festivewear and chatting more generally about the festive season.
The First Lady also joined US Embassy Marines to put gifts in bags to help with the Salvation Army’s annual present appeal for local families.
She placed a white frisbee with her Be Best logo into one bag, and a football into another.
Mrs Trump then handed out Be Best branded ornaments to children in the choir after they finished their performance, before leaving in her motorcade.
The First Lady was accompanied to Clapton by Suzanne Johnson, wife of US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson.
Nato leaders will discuss rise of China, General Secretary reveals
It has always been the elephant in the room, but now Jens Stoltenberg has made it public knowledge.
What details, if any, we will get remains to be seen.
An early contender for picture of the day
Boris Johnson spent much of the day yesterday seemingly avoiding picture opportunities with Donald Trump.
And this morning, a video emerged of him involved in a huddle seemingly mocking the US President’s impromptu press conference.
Here is Mr Johnson and his Home Secretary Dominic Raab – captions welcomed please.
Journalists are shut out of the Nato meeting
And, with that, Natio General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announces that is that for the gathered media.
Waving his gavel in the air, he called time on the public section of the summit.
Cameras were then cleared from the galleys and journalists filed out to leave the world leaders to discuss in private.
British Prime Minister addresses gathered delegates
Boris Johnson has said Britain is "rock solid" in its commitment to Nato as he addressed leaders at the military alliance’s 70th anniversary summit in Watford.
In opening remarks at the start of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the Prime Minister said: "I’m delighted to welcome everybody here to the United Kingdom to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Nato.
"I do feel that our alliance is coming home because Britain was a founding member of Nato and it was here that Nato opened its first headquarters, of course, in Belgrave Square, shortly actually before moving to Paris."
He went on: "70 years on, we are rock solid in our commitments to Nato and to the giant shield of solidarity that now protect 29 countries and nearly a billion people.
"The fact that we live in peace today demonstrates the power of the simple proposition at the heart of this alliance: that for as long as we stand together, no-one can hope to defeat us, and therefore no-one will start a war."
Mr Johnson continued: "History shows that peace cannot be taken for granted, and even as we celebrate this anniversary we must ensure that our deeds match our words.
"The atrocity in London last Friday shows why we must work together to combat terrorism and the vital importance of Nato’s missions to counter this threat.
"For the UK’s part, we spend over 2% of our GDP on defence, we are proud to be making the biggest contribution of any European ally to Nato’s readiness initiative by offering an armoured brigade, two fighter squadrons and six warships – including the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
"As friends and allies, we must never shy away from discussing new realities – particularly Nato’s response to emerging threats like hybrid warfare and disruptive technologies, including space and cyber.
"At this council, we have the opportunity to strengthen the unity of purpose that has made Nato the greatest and most successful alliance in history, and to take the new steps that are profoundly necessary to ensure another 70 years of peace and security."
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump shake hands
Boris Johnson welcomed Donald Trump onto the stage in Watford.
The world leaders will talk today behind closed doors.
Watch it here:
Turkey defence differences can be ironed out, Nato General Secretary says
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg has said he is confident differences with Turkey over a new alliance defence plan to protect the Baltic states and Poland can be resolved.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to block the plan after criticism of Turkey’s incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria.
But arriving for a meeting of alliance leaders near Watford, Mr Stoltenberg said: "I am confident that we will find a solution to the updating of the revised defence plan."
He said Nato leaders would for the first time discuss the rise of China, which was now the world’s second biggest spender on defence.
"This provides opportunities and also challenges," he said.
Barry Gardiner suggests Nato has not been on the right side of history
Touching on the British political landscape, shadow international development secretary Barry Gardiner has warned against interventions in foreign conflicts by saying "you don’t start bombing before you started thinking".
You can stay on top of the general election latest news in our politics liveblog here.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Gardiner insisted Labour is "committed to Nato," when asked if the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn supported the alliance.
Asked to confirm Mr Corbyn’s own views, Mr Gardiner added: "You want to personalise things, I want to talk about policy, I want to talk about what’s in our manifesto."
He continued: "The way you defend this country is by ensuring that you don’t go on foreign wars, you don’t start bombing before you started thinking.
"Consistently, if you look at the Iraq war, who was on the right side of history about that? Jeremy Corbyn was, not the president at the time, and indeed not the Labour Party at the time under Tony Blair.
"But all of Parliament went into that, Jeremy Corbyn did not."
Boris Johnson plays down Nato divisions
Boris Johnson has played down divisions in Nato amid differences over Turkey’s incursion against the Kurds in northern Syria.
Arriving for the 70th anniversary meeting of Nato leaders near Watford, Mr Johnson said Britain’s commitment to the alliance remained "rock solid".
"Clearly it is very important that the alliance stays together, but there is far, far more that unites us than divides us," he said.
Mr Johnson said he had a "very good" bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening.
"We discussed the future of Nato, we discussed what is going on in Syria and various other matters," he said.
Procession of world leaders welcomed to the stage in Watford
Anyone who has had to endure a university graduation ceremony might be getting flashbacks.
World leaders, one by one, are being welcomed to the stage.
They shake hands with Boris Johnson, shake hands with Nato General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, pose for a photograph, and make their way off stage.
So while this goes on, let’s catch up with the news lines to come out overnight and this morning.
Donald Trump arrives in Watford for day two of Nato summit
The US President has landed.
Flying in on board Marine One – the presidential helicopter – he landed just before 9.30am.
Nato summit day one catch-up
If you missed yesterday’s events, well, you missed a lot. You can catch up with the blow-by-blow account here.
But, in short:
- World leaders were hosted at Buckingham Palace event by the Queen
- Prince Andrew ‘a very tough story’, Donald Trump said
- Trump on Corbyn: ‘I know nothing about him, honestly’
- US wants ‘nothing to do’ with NHS, the President insisted
- ‘We’d be in World War Three if it weren’t for me,’ Trump said
- Macron’s ‘Nato is brain dead’ comments were ‘very disrespectful’, US President said
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