Sir Keir Starmer is hoping to head across the Channel to meet President Emmanuel Macron for a tête-à-tête at the Elysée next week. 

Starmer’s trip has yet to be confirmed by either side. But if the meeting goes ahead it will be on Tuesday, just days ahead of the state visit to France by King Charles and Camilla.  

The Labour leader is believed to have asked for the Macron meeting with the hope of protecting the special “strategic” relationship between the two countries. And it’s understood that Macron told Rishi Sunk about the potential meeting when they met last weekend at the G20 meeting.

It’s not unusual for a PM in-waiting to meet foreign leaders. Bill Clinton met with Tony Blair before Labour won in 1997 and David Cameron met with US president Barack Obama ahead of his election victory. 

What it does show is that Starmer is now confident enough in his potential election victory to ask for a meeting with Macron. It certainly helps his domestic image to be received at the Elysée and feted by the French president. They have much to talk about from small boat crossings to more generally improving EU relations. Starmer might want to find out more about how Macron plans to fight off the steady advance of Marine Le Pen‘s National Rally party. 

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