The USA has no greater friend on the global stage than the UK, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has reaffirmed during a visit to Washington, DC…

Mr Williamson was invited to America to be a guest of honour at a Sunset Parade in the US capital. He also reinforced close ties between the UK and US during a Pentagon meeting with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

This followed a keynote speech at the Atlantic Council think-tank, where he emphasised the vital role of NATO, the need for long-term planning and the depth of UK-US collaboration.

Speaking to the Atlantic Council, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “For more than a hundred years our Armed Forces have fought in defence of our common values and interests. From the turmoil of the Great War, through the dark days of World War II. From the heat of Korea, to the chill of the Cold War. From the mountains of Afghanistan, to the deserts of Iraq today.

“Our two countries have developed the deepest, broadest and most advanced Defence relationship of any two nations. The United States has never had nor will have a more reliable ally than the United Kingdom. Others may pretend, but you will find no greater ally than us.”

After giving his speech to the Atlantic Council, during which he also outlined the UK’s various deployments across the world, the Defence Secretary headed to the Pentagon to meet Secretary Mattis. Current threats to prosperity and safety, including Russia and the ongoing fight against Daesh, were among the issues that were high on the agenda.

Mr Williamson then attended an impressive Sunset Parade, where US Marines gave a skilled display of music from the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and a spectacular silent precision drill by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.