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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 July 2007, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
US and UK 'no longer inseparable'
Lord Malloch Brown
Lord Malloch Brown wants a more impartial foreign policy
One of Gordon Brown's new ministers has said the UK and the United States would no longer be "joined at the hip" on foreign policy.

Lord Malloch Brown told the Daily Telegraph it was time for a more "impartial" foreign policy and to build relationships with European leaders.

Some analysts may consider the Foreign Office minister's remarks evidence of Labour distancing itself from the US.

Earlier, Downing Street denied another minister had criticised the US.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander warned in a speech against unilateralism and called for an "internationalist approach" to global problems.

New links

Lord Malloch Brown's newspaper interview was his first since being appointed Foreign Office minister.

You need to build coalitions that are lateral, which go beyond the bilateral blinkers of the normal partners
Lord Malloch Brown

He used to be deputy secretary general at the United Nations and is a known critic of the Iraq war.

"It is very unlikely that the Brown-Bush relationship is going to go through the baptism of fire and therefore be joined together at the hip like the Blair-Bush relationship was," he was reported as saying.

"That was a relationship born of being war leaders together.

"There was an emotional intensity of being war leaders with much of the world against them. That is enough to put you on your knees and get you praying together."

He went on to speak of forging new links with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as with leaders in India and China.

"You need to build coalitions that are lateral, which go beyond the bilateral blinkers of the normal partners," he added.

"My hope is that foreign policy will become much more impartial."

'Get a grip'

His remarks come the day after Mr Alexander was accused of "coded criticism" of the policies of President George W Bush in a speech he made in the US.

When asked if his comments amounted to criticising the US, Gordon Brown's spokesman said that view "was not shared" by the PM.

Mr Brown, himself, told BBC Radio Five Live that he would continue to work, as Tony Blair did, "very closely with the American administration".

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has called on Mr Brown to "get a grip".

"What is at issue is not the relationship with the US but the nature of that relationship," he said.

"Under Tony Blair the relationship was so subordinate as to appear subservient. Britain needs to be America's candid friend not its client."


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