Labour will send a delegate to Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration later this month as the party tries to consolidate ties with the incoming administration.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy have made a concerted effort over the past nine months to build relationship with the incoming administration.
The Sunday Times reports that Starmer will send a shadow cabinet member to represent the party at Biden’s stripped back inauguration, while the government will not be sending anyone.
There is currently no precedent for members of the British government to attend US presidential inaugurations.
A Labour source told The Times: “It’s obviously difficult to arrange an inauguration during a pandemic but it is more likely than not that Labour will send a member of its frontbench team to Washington for the event. Obviously that will depend on the travel restrictions.”
Nandy said: “The Democrats are our sister party and so over the nine months since I was appointed as shadow foreign secretary I have been reaching out to members of the Obama and Clinton administrations, but also members of the incoming Biden administration because developing these relationships is not only important to Labour, it’s important to Britain, especially considering how strained the relations are with the Conservative government at the moment.”
It comes as foreign secretary Dominic Raab reportedly missed a scheduled phone call between himself and Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi waited for half an hour for his call, before Raab had to reschedule due to his talks with the Spanish government over Gibraltar.