US president Barack Obama will meet UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during his visit to Great Britain, it has been confirmed, following days of uncertainty.
Such a meeting between an American president and leader of the opposition would usually be routine during a trip to Britain stretching across three days – but Labour officials could only say in the past few days they “hoped” to announce a get-together was happening.
News of the meeting with Corbyn – who opposes British military intervention in Syria – came as Obama said the US and Britain were ready to take action to stop the Islamic State terror group securing a stronghold in Libya from which to launch attacks on Europe or America.
Speaking after talks with the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, Obama stressed there were “no plans” to send ground troops into Libya to support the recently-established Government of National Accord (GNA).
But he said both the UK and US were determined to assist the administration of Fayez Serraj with technical help, training and advice to secure borders, drive out terrorists and rebuild Libya’s economy.
Obama will use the second full day of his visit to hold a “town hall-style” meeting where he will answer questions from ordinary Britons, and also visit London’s Globe Theatre to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.