- Buckingham Palace event to be hosted by the Queen
- Prince Andrew ‘a very tough story’, President says
- Trump on Corbyn | ‘I know nothing about him, honestly’
- US wants ‘nothing to do’ with NHS
Nato leaders have begun to arrive at Buckingham Palace ahead of a reception to be hosted by the Queen on Tuesday evening.
It comes following an earlier diplomatic flare-up between Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The US president denounced a claim by Mr. Macron that the alliance was suffering from “brain death” as “very insulting” to other member states.
But when the two men met later, at the US ambassador’s residence in London, Mr. Trump acknowledged the need for greater “flexibility” in the way in which Nato responded to global threats.
Mr. Macron insisted he stood by his original remarks while acknowledging US concerns that other allies had not borne their fair share of the financial burden for collective defence.
Mr. Trump said they had had a “very good discussion”, and welcomed Mr. Macron’s comments about financial burden-sharing.
Mr. Johnson hosted talks with Mr. Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the main gathering in an attempt to iron out some of the differences between them.
The main Nato talks will take place on Wednesday at The Grove, a country house hotel near Watford.
The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after the alliance last month declared space one of its operational domains alongside air, land, sea and cyber.
Queen spends time with female leaders
The Queen, who was wearing a matching jacket and dress in steel blue and teal with teal diamante embellishments and the Queen Mother’s Palm Leaf Brooch, spent time at the reception speaking to female leaders and first ladies including Mrs Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel before mingling with the rest of the leaders and their wives.
Mr. Trump could be seen speaking to Mr. Macron, the French President, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also in attendance.
The leaders arrived at the Grand Entrance to the palace before being escorted inside, where they were met by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the Music Room.
Prince Charles and the Queen then joined the politicians for a group photograph in the Throne Room before they were served drinks in the Green Drawing Room.
The leaders of Nato alliance countries formed an orderly line to greet the Royal family, who were out in force for the event, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.
The Duke of Cambridge is away in the Middle East and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a six-week break from royal engagements.
Prince Charles appeared to have a particularly warm greeting for French president Emmanuel Macron:
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met Mr. Trump and his wife Melania for tea at Clarence House earlier today but their meeting was cut short after the US President arrived late.
Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall welcomed Mr. Trump and First Lady Melania at their official residence shortly before 6pm on Tuesday.
Protesters on the Mall could be heard and helicopters hovered above as the president’s motorcade arrived.
Rush-hour traffic meant the Trumps arrived around 40 minutes after they were expected for their half-an-hour sit down with Charles and Camilla, who greeted them at the entrance before welcoming them inside.
The two couples posed for pictures in the morning room before moving to private quarters for tea.
Their meeting was cut short as the couples were expected at a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen a short time later.
The Prince of Wales earlier met other Nato leaders, including Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte.
Meanwhile, Princess Anne was later spotted chatting with Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Johnson at the Nato leaders reception in Buckingham Palace.
Watch the moment Trump and Macron exchange blows over Islamic State
The political heavyweights have been throwing barbs around all week.
Here’s the moment it came to ahead.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he stands by his statement that Nato appears to be suffering a “brain death”.
His remarks were earlier condemned by Donald Trump, attending a meeting of Nato leaders in London, as “very insulting” to other alliance members.
But at a meeting at the US ambassador’s residence, Mr. Macron said there was a need within the alliance for a “strategic clarification” on how to deliver long-term peace in Europe.
Both leaders struck a conciliatory note with Mr. Trump acknowledging that Nato needed to look beyond the threat from Russia to issues such as Islamic terrorism.
“The president and I feel that we need more flexibility so we can use it for other things, not just one specific country,” Mr. Trump said. “A lot of people say it was originally meant to look at the Soviet Union, now Russia, but we also have other things to look at, whether it is radical Islamic terrorism, whether it is the tremendous growth of China.”
Mr. Macron acknowledged that there had been US “over-investment” in the alliance for decades – a key complaint of Mr. Trump.
Trump praises bystanders for intervening during London Bridge terror attack
Donald Trump has praised members of the public who intervened in the London Bridge terror attack on Friday.
The US president said: “I don’t have a comment on the London Bridge attack other than to say that I was very proud of those people that grabbed him and did such a good job between the fire extinguishers and whatever else.
“It was an amazing job they did and he was very violent – you could see that, I mean this was captured very much on tape.
“I think they were British citizens – the way they stepped up was incredible, that was really great.
“A terrible thing, a terrible attack, a lot of people very badly hurt, I believe three or four killed… so it’s a terrible thing. I know it’s an act of terrorism, it’s been declared an act of terrorism – radical Islamic terrorism by the way, and it’s very bad.
“But I think the way they stepped up, to me, that was something very special.”
Football for the Prince of Wales
Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg gave the Prince of Wales a football decorated with sustainability goals when the pair met at Clarence House.
Ms. Solberg told Charles it is used to get young people to talk about sustainability.
“I don’t know if you play football,” she joked as she gave the prince the gift.
He replied: “A very, very long time ago.”
Charles threw the ball to a royal aide as he took Ms. Solberg out of the morning room.
Behind-the-scenes take from inside the room of Trump’s press conference
The Telegraph’s Defence and Security Correspondent Dominic Nicholls was among those grilling the President on Tuesday morning.
Here is a behind-the-scenes take from inside the room.
Being part of the press pool to interview Donald Trump is an experience as exhilarating as it is bewildering. He answers all the questions posed to him, just not in the correct order, so you have always to be on full alert to catch a comment about Jeremy Corbyn in an answer ostensibly about German GDP.
As soon as he started, Mr. Trump was machine-gunning sound bites and controversy around the room.
He said there was a “tremendous spirit” around Nato, “except for one country”.
The assembled journalists held our breath, but no further clues came. “We’ll be talking to that country and see how it works out,” he said, further teasing us.
“Actually that one country has a couple of points but they’re very devastating to Nato.”
Which country? blurted one of the journalists? “I’d rather have you guess,” said the President.
Before we could dig further, he was off on a more familiar tack; gripes about money.
“The United States pays a disproportionate amount,” he said. “The United States is paying 4.3 percent of a much larger GDP. Germany is paying 1.3 percent of a much smaller GDP; that’s not fair”.
For no apparent reason, this passage ended on domestic British politics.
Asked if he would be making any comments about the general election he said no: “I have no thoughts on it. I don’t want to complicate it”
So far so uncontroversial. But Mr. Trump then treated us to a roller coaster ride through US political campaigns, the EU referendum and the failings of former Presidents.
“I’ve won a lot of elections for a lot of people,” he suddenly threw out to no one in particular, “North Carolina…Kentucky…Louisiana…go od guy, popular Governor…Kansas…I’ve won virtually every race,” he continued, listing a bewildering array of places and people that few of the Europeans in the room could follow.
He finally wheeled back to Britain and something I recognised.
“But this is a different country,” he said, and my hopes soared that we were going to get an actual comment about the General Election.
But no: ”…and, I say often, in Germany they like Obama, because he gave the ship away.”
What, wait, what ship?
“…’l’ll stay out of the election. I was a fan of Brexit, I called it the day before. I think Boris is very capable and will do a great job.”
Like a drowning man clinging to a lifebelt I had to get the conversation back onto something I could recognise before I was sucked down the whirlpool never to be seen again
I asked the President if he could work with a possible Prime Minister Corbyn.
“I can work with anybody,” he boomed. “I’m a very easy person to work with.”
“Look at this gentleman,” he said, indicating the somewhat stunned Jens Stoltenberg, Nato’s Secretary-General, sat next to him. “When I came in I was angry at Nato and now I’ve raised $130billion…and yet you still have many delinquents who have not paid up in full.”
The waters were swirling around me again. Different tack called for. Should the NHS be on the table in trade talks?
“No, no, no, I’ve had nothing to do with it, never even thought about it. We’re doing great healthcare work…in this country, they have to work that out for themselves. I don’t even know where that rumour started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Confusion reigned, especially after comments on his state visit to the UK when he seemed to suggest the NHS would be included in any future negotiations. Luckily the President then cleared up any doubt: “If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it,” he said.
The five-minute photocall had now been going on for over half an hour. There was a surreal quality to the event as if time stood still.
Suddenly voices were raised at the back of the room. “Has a fistfight broken out?” called the President. For a moment I wondered if Mr Corbyn had snuck in, posing as a hack. No, it was Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, squeezing into the room
Desperate for an actual answer to a security question, I asked why North Korea had continued its nuclear programme despite three meetings between Mr Trump and President Kim Jung Un.
President brightened. “I have a lot of confidence in him, we’ll see what happens” he answered, before continuing in a manner that did little to spread confidence.
“He definitely likes sending rockets up doesn’t he?” he said smiling disconcertingly at me. “That’s why I call him rocket man. It may work out, it may not. If I weren’t President you’d be at war right now in Asia and who knows where that leads.”
Attention was drawn back to the Nato member without the ‘tremendous spirit’ Mr. Trump had mentioned at the start. Could he have been hinting at France?
“President Macron said Nato was brain dead,” Mr. Trump stated, “I think that’s very insulting. I was very surprised…It’s a tough statement, but when you make a statement like that, the hat was a very very nasty statement to make to 28 countries. You just can’t go around making statements like that about Nato, it’s very disrespectful.”
“Nobody needs Nato more than France,” the President said, fully in his stride now, and seemingly oblivious to statements he has made in the past that seemed to question Nato’s viability.
“You just look back over the last, a long period of time. Frankly, the one that benefits really the least is the United States.
“We’re helping Europe to go against a common foe. That may or may not be a foe. But there are other foes out there also. So that’s why when France makes a statement about Nato, it’s a very dangerous statement to make.
“I see France breaking off and I’m a little surprised at that.
“I’ve always had a great relationship with Emmanuel. Sometimes he’ll say things he shouldn’t say, but he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. Sometimes I think he does things that are counterproductive to his own country.”
And with that, we were ushered out of the room, blinking in the light, wondering if it had all been a dream, and concluding that sometimes Mr. Trump has just gotta do what he’s gotta do, and we all have to make any sense of it we can.
Nato is ‘politically in some trouble, militarily alright,’ says ex-secretary general
The former secretary-general of Nato from 2004 to 2009 Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the organisation was “politically in some trouble, militarily more or less alright”.
Asked how healthy Nato was, he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme: “From a military point of view, apart from the perennial budget discussions, Nato is relatively healthy. From a political point of view, it would need some antibiotics, I think.”
He added: “There is not sufficient serious political debate around the Nato table … Nato should take its political role and its political consultation seriously.”
Prince Andrew will not attend the Nato events
The Duke of York, who stepped down from public duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview about his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is not attending.
With all the Queen’s other children at the prestigious palace event, it is likely Andrew would have attended if circumstances had been different.
The duke stood down after he was criticised for showing little sympathy with Epstein’s victims and no remorse for his friendship with the disgraced financier.
The reception falls a day after the broadcast of Panorama’s interview with Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she slept with Andrew when she was a teenager.
Ms. Giuffre told the BBC she was left “horrified and ashamed” after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew when she was 17.
The duke strenuously denies having any form of sexual contact or relationship with her.
Panorama also claimed it had uncovered an email allegedly sent by Andrew to socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of procuring victims for Epstein, asking for her help in dealing with claims by Ms. Giuffre.
Defence Secretary says ‘hybrid warfare is our new reality’
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said Nato is facing new threats and must “continue to adapt” by investing, innovating and remaining collective.
Speaking at the Nato Engages conference, Mr. Wallace said: “To those that doubt the potency of Nato, you should ask yourself why – if an organisation is without purpose – do our adversaries put so much into destabilising our alliance?”
He added: “But today we face new challenges, and keeping with our traditions, we must continue to adapt.
“Hybrid warfare is our new reality – it is constant and challenging to all our aims.”
Mr. Wallace said the response to these new threats should be threefold – it should start with investment, involve innovation and revolve around solidarity.
He said: “It starts with investment, investment in both our conventional forces and in new capabilities that are needed to address the challenges that lie ahead.”
Queen to host Donald Trump and world leaders
The Queen is preparing to host US President Donald Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception for Nato leaders.
Mr. Trump landed at Stansted Airport in Air Force One with his wife Melania at 10pm on Monday for his third visit as US President.
He will gather with Western politicians and their partners in the royal residence’s grand State Rooms.
The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will formally greet the Nato leaders at the reception, which marks 70 years of the alliance.
Charles and the monarch will then join the politicians for a group photograph.
The royals will be out in force for the event, including the Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.
The Duke of Cambridge is away in the Middle East and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on a six-week break from royal engagements.
The Duke of York, who stepped down from public duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview about his association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is not attending.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticised Nato, describing it as “obsolete and disproportionately too expensive (and unfair) for the US”.
Nato – the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – was established in Washington on April 4 1949.
It began as a 12-member alliance to counterbalance the growing military might of the Soviet Union and to keep the peace in post-war Europe.
The political and military alliance now has 29 member countries.