Thursday 23 November 2017

May 'confident' in UK intel sharing with US

Theresa May. Picture: Getty
Theresa May. Picture: Getty

Thomas Penn

Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain still has confidence in its intelligence-sharing relationship with the US despite reports that President Donald Trump shared sensitive information with Russia.

Fears over the safety of spies and informants have led to questions about allies passing intelligence to the US after the 'Washington Post' reported that Mr Trump had revealed highly classified information from a US intelligence partner about an Isil plot. "We continue to share intelligence with the US," Mrs May told reporters in London yesterday. "We continue to work together and we have confidence in that relationship between us and the US."

Mrs May, who is campaigning for Britain's general election on June 8, has been criticized for her relationship with Mr Trump. She was the first foreign leader to meet him in the White House following his inauguration in January. Yesterday, she refused to comment on the details of allegations against the president.

Important

"Decisions about what President Trump discusses with anybody in the White House is a matter for President Trump," Mrs May said. "We have a very special relationship with the United States of America, this is the most important defence and security relationship we have around the world."

While White House National Security Adviser HR McMaster dismissed the "premise" of the 'Washington Post' article as "false", the president himself said on Twitter that he "wanted to share with Russia...which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining...to terrorism and airline flight safety" because he wants Russia to "greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

The president and Mrs May were photographed holding hands during her visit to the US and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, has accused her of seeking to "build a coalition of risk and insecurity with Donald Trump". He pledged "no more hand-holding" with the president if he wins on June 8.

"Britain deserves better than simply outsourcing our country's security and prosperity to the whims of the Trump White House," Corbyn said in a speech on May 12.

Irish Independent

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