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Lammy hosts Canadian counterpart in first home engagement as Foreign Secretary

David Lammy said the UK and Canada had ‘the closest of relationships’ (Lucy North/PA)
David Lammy said the UK and Canada had ‘the closest of relationships’ (Lucy North/PA)

David Lammy has met his Canadian counterpart, in the first engagement he has hosted as Foreign Secretary.

Mr Lammy met with Melanie Joly, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, on Monday morning.

“Can I thank you so much for being my first official visitor as Foreign Secretary here in the UK,” he said.

“I have known Canada all of my life, it is a country I love, I have family in Canada, so this means the world to me.”

Mr Lammy stressed the two nations had “the closest of relationships” and said he and Ms Joly had got to know each other while he was serving as shadow foreign secretary.

He added: “Lots to discuss this morning, I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you have made this so special by coming to my first official visitation.”

The Canadian foreign minister congratulated Mr Lammy and Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer on their election victory.

Ms Joly added: “Now we have lots to do together. We definitely need to have a strong relationship between Canada and the UK, which is a historic one which we can deepen.”

She also stressed the need for the UK and Canada to work together to support Ukraine, to broker a peace deal in the Middle East, and to quell tensions in the Indo-Pacific.

Although the engagement is the first Mr Lammy has hosted, he has already travelled to Europe for talks with key players, with a promise that the UK would be a “good neighbour” after the years of Brexit acrimony.

The Foreign Secretary used his first trip abroad over the weekend as the UK’s top diplomat to make clear to his counterparts in Germany, Poland and Sweden about the chance to “seize the opportunity for a reset” and work “even more closely together to tackle shared challenges”.