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CNN International: UK Has New Prime Minister After Labour's Landslide Win; Voting Underway In Iran's Presidential Runoff; Biden Campaign Memo: More Travel, More Unscripted Events. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 08:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, HOST, "CNN NEWSROOM": Hello. Welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Max Foster live from outside parliament in London.

A new government, a new Prime Minister, a new era for the UK, Keir Starmer just gave his first speech as Prime Minister after seeing King Charles at Buckingham Palace and being appointed. More on that in a moment. But, Labour's landslide was a win in Thursday's general election that sweeps away nearly a decade and a half of Conservative rule. And this move to the center-left also comes as Europe looks like it's broadly in the grip of what many call it right-wing populist surge. Before I get to the bigger picture, let's take a look at what unfolded overnight.


FOSTER (voice-over): After 14 years, the United Kingdom has woken up to a new government, a concession of defeat and an acceptance speech, all tied up before breakfast time.

KEIR STARMER, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We did it. You campaigned for it. You fought for it. You voted for it and now it has arrived. Change begins now.

FOSTER (voice-over): Keir we go. Britain sees red. It was a landslide victory for the Labour Party, trouncing the outgoing Conservatives with one of the biggest majorities in history. The tabloids didn't hold back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And as Big Ben strikes 10, the exit poll is predicting a Labour landslide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir Keir Starmer will become Prime Minister --

FOSTER (voice-over): As the initial exit poll came in, many celebrated the early indication of a win for the Labour Party. With counting underway in his home constituency in North Yorkshire, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak conceded defeat as dawn broke. He will stay on as an MP but has indicated he will no longer lead the party. That's a fight for another day. RISHI SUNAK, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Labour Party has won

this general election and I've called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory.

FOSTER (voice-over): Although well-known Conservatives weren't so lucky, short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss lost her seat in South West Norfolk, leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, lost her seat, as did Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, and Arch-Brexiteer, Jacob Rees- Mogg. And success after his eighth attempt, pro-Trump right-wing populist politician Nigel Farage secured a seat in the House of Commons for his right-wing Reform Party.


FOSTER (voice-over): It was a win for the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, now running as an independent candidate in his longtime constituency of Islington North.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH MP, INDEPENDENT PARTY: This result is to me a resounding message from the people of Islington North that they want something different. They want something better.

FOSTER (voice-over): In the coming hour, Sir Keir Starmer will walk through the door at 10 Downing Street as the UK's first Labour Prime Minister in 14 years.


FOSTER: Nic Robertson was there in Downing Street as it all unfolded. And I think what really came across from that speech from the new Prime Minister was want of stability, I guess, or bringing back stability, but crucially, unity as well.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Stability, unity and returning faith of the public and their politicians, which he said is eroded. And I think that's really a tip of the hat to the low turnout, 59.9 percent voter turnout. It was around about that point in 20 -- in 1997, I believe, prior to that, probably you go back a century before. So, this was a low turnout. And he wants to build that trust the public have in their politicians that the politicians are there for the public, his point, country first, party second. This is about doing service for people and the service of the nation. He was very clear on that.

But, you're right, unity as well, that he wants to work for everyone, for every community in the country.


And I think he paid a very kind and if you will, very understanding note of support for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the first Asian Prime Minister that Britain has ever had, and he said, don't underestimate how hard that must have been for you to get there, for you to do that every day. That was a real tribute to the last Prime Minister, but a real underscoring that Prime Minister Keir Starmer really sees himself as Prime Minister for the whole country, for every community in this country.

And he did mention the four nations of the country as well, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, being in this together, the Scottish national threat, the independent threat, if you will, of Scotland, has suddenly just withered on the vine, it appears, and it had been such a challenge for Conservatives, and now it's gone. But, he can see in Wales that the national party there -- nationalist party there, Plaid Cymru did well in Northern Ireland. The only party that held all their seats was the national -- nationalist party there, Sinn Fein who would like to unite Northern Ireland with Ireland. So, his message is, we are one country, and I am here to work for all of you, and be trusted. I think that's the other takeaway. He wants people to return their trust in politicians.

FOSTER: In terms of what we expect to happen today, Nic, he is hitting the ground running, obviously, the big NATO summit. I'm sure you will be reporting on that. He has got to go into that. He has got to get his head around all the bureaucracy. But, he has also got to reveal a Cabinet today. He has been quite discreet about who is going where. He does have very strong shadow cabinet. But, that will play out over the course of the day, and that will really give us a sense about the sort of government he wants to project.

ROBERTSON: Yeah, and how quickly he then pulls together a Cabinet meeting. Will he try to do it over the weekend? Look, he has got to get a lot done because he will be going to Washington, D.C. next week, not just -- will he be able to meet with President Biden, but there will be 30 other NATO leaders there, 32 nations total in NATO. It will be his chance first time as Prime Minister to meet with so many of his European counterparts, who he really wants to have better relations with. Following Brexit, he really believes that there is a better way forward with the European Union. There'll be perhaps some side discussions about that around the table at NATO.

But, he'll get a second dip, if you will, working with European politicians in another two weeks' time. The UK is hosting a European Committee meeting. 50 different leaders expected to be there, posted mid-July at Blenheim Palace in the British countryside. So, that will also be a burden on his shoulders because he is going to have to manage that and host all those leaders. Obviously, he has a whole party and a whole government apparatus to help him with that. But, that will be, again, an important moment, where he is on the global stage, trying to connect his new message of Britain and what he stands for and what Britain stands for and what he wants to achieve with those new partners.

And in the meantime, as you say, governing the country. The first -- the King's speech expected in parliament, sort of all within that same sort of timeframe is played absolutely full and of course hard against the summer recess for the parliament. That will be coming up in a month or so's time. So, a lot of pressure to get a lot done in a short space of time, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Nic Robertson in Downing Street, thank you so much.

Well, Labour has vowed to hit the ground running from day one in number 10. So much to think about, the cost of living, the war in Ukraine, the Middle East, NATO, as Nic was talking about.

Bronwen Maddox is the CEO of Chatham House think tank, is with me to have a look at all of this. I mean, it's almost too much to get your head around just to talk about, imagine what it's like for him. But --

BRONWEN MADDOX, CEO, CHATHAM HOUSE: It's a question of where do you start?

FOSTER: Foreign policy. I mean, it starts today with the phone calls. Presumably the U.S. and France will be top of the list there because they're key allies and they're very unsettled leaders in their own right.

MADDOX: They're very unsettled, and then there will be a long list of other world leaders, because Britain has a lot of allies. But, there are some immediate decisions as well, and that's where it gets difficult once you've made the phone calls. You've got the NATO summit next week, and that really presents Keir Starmer with a decision about whether he is going to commit to how much of defense that Britain is going to spend, particularly in Ukraine's support. Then you've got a European summit that Britain is hosting within days after that, and there he is going to begin to explore what really might come with his pledge to get slightly closer to Europe. And the questions will just start coming. As we saw in the results, Gaza is a big issue for his party as well as much of the world.

FOSTER: Explain that because there were some Labour candidates who lost and Conservative who lost votes over the Gaza issue.

MADDOX: Specifically over Gaza, where Gaza was something that another candidate campaigned on and said we want something much tougher than Keir Starmer's statement that is broadly in support of Israel, while calling for a Palestinian state as well.


FOSTER: And not -- yes.

MADDOX: Just saying that's not enough. We got to do more for Gaza, and that proved in some constituencies depending on the population, a really divisive point.

FOSTER: His deputy actually said that we would recognize a Palestinian state. He hasn't gone that far. But, that really shows what he is up against internally as well. He has to represent those liberal issues.

MADDOX: He has to represent those liberal issues and take account of the feelings of the party and the world.


MADDOX: Lots of countries care about that. But, he has to take account of the U.S. as well, and the U.S. has been uncomfortable at some of the language that Keir Starmer and his team have used, which separates them from where the U.S. is which is, wholehearted support of Israel. FOSTER: If we can talk about the U.S. for a moment. If President Trump returns to the White House, you'd expect him to have a weaker relationship with a Labour leader than he would with a Conservative leader.

MADDOX: It doesn't follow automatically. But, I think the things that -- which might divide them are very, very clear. One is Ukraine, where President Trump has said, look, I want a deal. I want to shut this war down. Another one is very likely Gaza, where President Trump in his first incarnation was very much behind Israel in every way. And there are more divisions after that, probably on China and trade policy and so on. So, it's not going to be an easy relationship even before you get to personalities, and no one is calling President Trump an easy personality.

FOSTER: What do you make of the narrative that Britain is bucking the European trends, which is shifting firmly to the right, certainly in the major nations, by electing a government which is mainstream to the left, because there are plenty of people suggesting, a lot of the mainstream policy is actually hard-right when you talk about stopping the votes on the transgender issue, for example, as well? So, is it just articulating itself in a different way in the UK?

MADDOX: Right-wing means an awful lot of things --


MADDOX: -- across Europe, very different things, and Keir Starmer tucked into his first speech outside Downing Street, the words "secure borders". So, he is saying to people in Britain, no, I get it. You care about secure borders, so do I. And he is acknowledging that immigration is a really powerful force, as we saw with the reform vote in this UK election. So, that is one of the things driving right-wing parties and their success across Europe. But, it doesn't mean they're all right-wing when it comes to the questions of markets and the role of the state and all kinds of things. There really is quite a range there. So, in some respects over he is bucking the trend but in others about the degree of concern about migration in the country. I think Britain is not so far away from any others.

FOSTER: Yeah. OK. Bronwen Maddox, really appreciate your time --

MADDOX: My pleasure.

FOSTER: -- and joining us from Chatham House.

Now, as Britain wraps up its parliamentary election, voting is in full swing in Iran's presidential runoff. The country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cast his ballot right after the polls opened a little earlier today. Iranians face a choice between two poll opposites for their next President, reformist lawmaker, Masoud Pezeshkian, who won the most votes in the first round of last week, and hardline former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Now, dozens of other candidates were banned from even entering the race by Iran's powerful Guardian Council. Fred Pleitgen is our expert on this. Having said the fact that they

didn't have a full range of candidates, they do have a very clear choice now on which way they want the country to go.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I think you're absolutely right. I mean, you have the reform of the moderate Masoud Pezeshkian, who has made very clear that he wants better relations with the countries in that region, in the greater Middle East, but also wants better relations with the West as well. One of the things that he said in one of his campaign events before the first round of the election, Max, that Iran cannot fight everybody, as he put it. So, pretty clear message of possible detente if he is going to be elected to be the President of Iran.

Saeed Jalili, of course, on the other hand, is definitely very much a conservative. He has also been fighting pretty hard in that election. In fact, after the first round, which was on last Friday, two days later on Sunday, we saw him in the bazaar of Tehran campaigning once again. So, you can see, it's a pretty hard-fought election. Saeed Jalili, for his part, says that he wants a policy or policies in the spirit of Ebrahim Raisi, on the tradition of Ebrahim Raisi, who is series, of course, the Iranian President who was killed in that helicopter crash on May 19. That would mean a very tough line towards the United States, and of course, an even tougher line towards Israel as well.

The important other thing that we are looking at, Max, which everybody is looking at who is watching these elections in Iran is going to be voter turnout, and that's one of the things that was very important also to the Supreme Leader as well. You mentioned that he was the first person to cast his ballot. That, of course, is a traditional thing in Iranian elections.


And one of the things that he said again is that voter turnout would be key, been saying that he believes that low voter turnout makes Iran weak and emboldens Iran as their enemies, while high voter turnout strengthens the political system in Iran. Of course, we know that in the first round, the voter turnout was quite low. It was around 40 percent. So, they are going to be looking to get a little bit more than that as right now. You really do, as you correctly put it, Max, have a very stark choice between the moderate, the reformer, Masoud Pezeshkian, and the conservative Saeed Jalili, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Fred, thank you for that. We'll be following very closely as those results come in.

Now, the French government says it'll deploy an additional 30,000 police and security officers for Sunday's parliamentary election runoff there. It comes after a wave of election-linked violence. This government spokesperson and her team were attacked whilst campaigning on Wednesday. A politician with the National Rally party was assaulted in a market in southeastern France, and the Republican Party candidate said left-wing campaigners attacked him in Cherbourg. President Emmanuel Macron has even warned of civil war if the extreme right or left wins Sunday's runoff.

In an exclusive interview, National Rally's Marine Le Pen sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, and here is what she had to say.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST, "AMANPOUR": As we know, a third of French voters voted for you and for your party, and two thirds did not. And as you know, President Macron is trying to get a coalition to stop you, a firewall, so to speak, to stop you becoming the majority in parliament. What does it feel like to be considered so dangerous? How does it feel?

MARINE LE PEN, MEMBER, NATIONAL RALLY, & PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RALLY IN FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (Interpreted): We don't represent any danger, apart from making him lose power. In reality, all the energy that he puts into fighting us, it's simply because he knows that we are the alternative movement. We are the ones who can secure an absolute majority. The far left does not have that option. So, the danger of which he is talking is a threat to his own power.

But, what's paradoxical is that he called for a dissolution by saying that the people should have their say again. But, by strategizing between the two rounds, by withdrawing his candidates, asking people to vote for the far left, he is actually refusing to let French people express themselves freely. It's rather paradoxical.

AMANPOUR: It's still a third that you got. Do you like, do you admire Kylian Mbappe, the hero of French soccer?

PEN (Interpreted): I'm not much of a football enthusiast. I'll be frank.

AMANPOUR: But, as a national hero.

PEN (Interpreted): I believe that Mr. Mbappe is a very good footballer. But, this tendency for actors, footballers, and singers to come forward and tell French people how they should vote, and particularly to people who earn 1,300 or 1,400 euros a month, whilst they are millionaires or even billionaires who live abroad, it's starting to not be well received in our country. French People are fed up of being lectured and advised on how to vote. This election is an election of emancipation, in which the French people want to take back control of their destiny and vote as they see fit.

AMANPOUR: You jumped in because you knew what I was going to ask you. So, I need to explain. What he said was, I don't want to represent a country that doesn't correspond to my values, our values. People say don't mix football and politics. But, this is really important, much more important than football. The situation is dire and we need to act. He didn't tell people how to vote. He just said, you don't represent the kind of country that he would want to play for.

PEN (Interpreted): Yes. We know exactly why he did it, and what the purpose of his statement was. But then, again, these are people who are lucky enough to be living comfortably, very comfortably, to be protected from insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and everything else that affects and hurts our compatriots. I think that at a time when the population is preparing to vote, they should show a bit of restraint. Let me give you an example. A left-wing mayor came to see me and said, I've never voted for the National Rally. But, I can't start hearing any more lectures from people who know nothing about how the French are suffering.


So, this time, I'm going to vote for you. That's what these kinds of statements lead to.


FOSTER: All right. Do tune in to "Amanpour" to see the full interview with Marine Le Pen. That's Friday evening 6 p.m. in London, 7 in Paris, right here on CNN.

Still to come, CNN has obtained a brand new strategy memo from Joe Biden's campaign, their strategy to reverse the damage from last week's disastrous debate, when we come back. Nine months into the war in Gaza, there are signs that ceasefire and hostage release talks are gathering momentum. The latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war, later.


FOSTER: With his reelection bid hanging in the balance, Joe Biden will today conduct probably the most important interview of his political career. He sits down with ABC News for a conversation designed to show that his disastrous debate performance was just a bad night, but not the sign of a man in mental decline. Biden insists he is staying in the race, and today will be campaigning in the swing state of Wisconsin. CNN has obtained a new memo from the Biden campaign that outlines his strategy moving forwards. It calls for an aggressive travel schedule to the swing states in July with plenty of unscripted events to show off Biden's mental fitness.

With more on Biden's new campaign strategy, let's go to CNN's Priscilla Alvarez at the White House. I guess it will work if he is on form.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is certainly a make or break moment for President Biden, as his campaign tries to salvage his reelection bid. And this campaign memo in some ways tries to signal to allies that we hear you, mostly because it also addresses those off-the-cuff moments that allies have said they want to see more of, the unscripted candid Biden and also one that is often on the campaign trail.

Now, this campaign memo also says that the President, the Vice President, the First Lady, and the second gentleman will collectively visit every battleground state. The President is going to also travel to battleground Nevada, where he will have two -- speak at two conferences targeting black and Latino voters. And it also includes a $50 million paid media blitz. So, they're trying to shift the narrative here after what has been a very difficult week for Democrats as they contend with whether or not President Biden is best suited to go up against former President Donald Trump come November.

Now, yesterday, the President was at the July 4th celebration, where he was mingling with military families, and he did have one of those candid moments when someone in the crowd yelled, we need you.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This could not be done without the family's support. So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We love you, and I really mean it from the bottom of my heart.


Thank you. Thank you. You got me, man. I'm not going anywhere. All right.


ALVAREZ: Now, there are some crucial days ahead. In addition to the President visiting battleground Wisconsin today, he will also visit battleground Pennsylvania and of course, sit down for that primetime interview that will play tonight, and of course, that is an interview that advisors have been pushing toward, and that's what really makes this high stakes. It's an opportunity for the President to show that he still has the vigor to be the Democratic nominee. And it's not just the substance of what he is going to say. It's also the way he delivers it, that a lot of allies will be keeping eyes out on.

So, the President himself has acknowledged it is a critical juncture for this race and for his candidacy. And it's still -- well, we'll wait to see what happens next from here. But, a lot of it will unfold over the next few days.

FOSTER: People will be tuning in, for sure. Priscilla Alvarez at the White House, thank you so much.

Now, a new round of Gaza ceasefire negotiations could resume in Doha, possibly in the coming hours. After nine months of war, sources say the framework is in place for a hostage and ceasefire deal. Israel's Prime Minister authorized his negotiators to begin this new phase after receiving her Hamas' latest response earlier this week. It comes after a call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu. A senior U.S. official said the two leaders seem to reach a breakthrough on elements of the proposed deal.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is tracking the developments from Abu Dhabi. She joins us now. So much positivity coming from all sides. But, what's that mean, Paula?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Max, we're hearing from a senior Biden administration official that these talks are expected to resume because they say that the framework is in place at this point. We've heard from an Israeli source that the Hamas response really allowed them to be able to decide whether or not to go into this next phase of negotiation, which is the more detailed phase of negotiation. So, it feels like we are a little further potentially than we have been certainly for many weeks, as these talks have been stalled. We are expecting the talks to continue or at least resume in Doha, potentially as early as today, as early as Friday.

We understand from an Israeli source as well that the Mossad director David Barnea will be in attendance. So, the fact that the lead negotiator on the Israeli side is going to be involved would suggest that there is something significant to talk about as well.

Now, what we've heard from the senior administration official is that they've managed to take away some of the stumbling blocks that have stalled this process in the past, notably, within this three-phase deal that will be going ahead between the phase one and the phase two. So, phase one is when there is a six-week ceasefire and some hostages will be released in return for some Palestinian prisoners. That was supposed to then evolve into phase two, where there is a longer lasting cessation of hostilities and the remainder of the hostages would be released in return for more Palestinian prisoners.

Now, that appeared to have been a real stumbling block. And we had heard from Hamas that they wanted a more definitive timeline from the Israelis as to when this permanent ceasefire would be in place, something which up until now we have seen the Israeli Prime Minister, at least, Benjamin Netanyahu, resisting, even saying that he is not ready for a ceasefire. But, it does appear as though whatever stumbling block there was has now been resolved, at least according to this senior administration official.

We are being cautioned, though, this does not mean that a deal is days away. It could still likely take weeks. That we're hearing from the Israeli side, and of course, also pointing out that it is not finalized. A deal is not assured. And it could not happen in the end. But certainly, we do appear to be a lot further along the line than we have been for some time, and that's being felt in Israel as well. We are seeing more protests on the streets. Some of the hostage families were out in Tel Aviv just today. They say thousands were there, pushing the Israeli Prime Minister to sign on this deal and to bring the hostages back. Max.

FOSTER: OK. Paul Hancocks in Abu Dhabi, thank you for that update.

Still to come, a seismic shift here in British politics, with Conservatives kicked out in pretty dramatic style. Ahead, the latest on the Labour Party's resounding victory of the UK's new Prime Minister. There he is.


And millions of Americans bracing for dangerous heat this holiday weekend, a weekend marred by wildfires in California. A live report on the blazes, after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) FOSTER: A brand new era in British politics that began with a record- breaking election, Keir Starmer now officially the new Prime Minister, after that resounding victory by his Labour Party which ended 14 years of Conservative government. Rishi Sunak, he took responsibility for the crushing loss by historic margins, formally turned in his resignation to the King, King Charles. In his first address to the nation as Prime Minister, Keir Starmer projected both unity and stability and said change begins right now.


STARMER: Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact, especially if you did not, I say to you directly, my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that. We've changed the Labour Party, returned it to service, and that is how we will govern.


FOSTER: Luke McGee is a European Political Editor. Also, we have our Business Journalist Hanna Ziady as well,

Luke, I mean, it's interesting. This -- it was a very noticeable push for unity, because whilst this was a resounding sort of win for him, there were a lot of fractures around the edges, these smaller parties, the Greens, Reform, did extremely well, and they are -- they have extreme views compared with the middle ground.

LUKE MCGEE, CNN UK AND EUROPEAN POLITICS AND POLICY EDITOR: They do. I think the most important thing to note about this election result and various polls and sort of focus groups leading up to this, it said it was going to be a vote against the incumbent government rather than necessarily a vote for Starmer. So, it was interesting that he opened with, especially, if you didn't vote for me, I want to vote in a way that unifies people. I want to govern for everyone.


So, yeah. I think that he definitely has addressed that issue and that's going to be a challenge for him maybe his first 100 days to the first couple of months.

FOSTER: Cost of living, it seems to be the theme any election I cover in the Western world and I'm sure in other parts of the world as well, and it was a big theme here. Wasn't it? How did you see that come out during the campaign? And what did -- I mean, the promises he made are great, but they're not affordable, probably getting to the point.

HANNA ZIADY, CNN BUSINESS JOURNALIST: No. We'll get to that. But, it did come out in the campaign. We saw them in the debates with audience members really raising that as an issue, saying, I'm still struggling to pay my bills. Yes, inflation has fallen a lot from the record highs we saw 18 months ago or so. But, prices are still rising but slowly. Interest rates, of course, much, much higher. So, that puts a squeeze on anyone who has got a mortgage. Rents are expensive. So, a lot of people still feeling that pressure.

FOSTER: That's why they want change.

ZIADY: And that's why they've --

FOSTER: This is the change thing, right, which they responded to.

ZIADY: That is exactly the change thing that they want. But, as you rightly point out, that is going to be difficult to deliver because government finances are under strain. And I think Keir Starmer sort of taking a more measured tone in some of his remarks, not saying that this is going to happen overnight. We're not going to be able to deliver the change you want overnight. But, we do want to put politics back into the public service. We do want to fix some of these public services like the NHS, like state education. And we do want to alleviate some of these living costs and improve living standards, because those have really come under pressure, particularly the last few years, Max.

FOSTER: You report across Europe. It's the same theme everywhere, isn't it? It's just sort of articulated itself in a slightly different result here.

MCGEE: Yeah. The UK is in many ways not unique, the same pressures that have come about from COVID, that have come about from the war in Ukraine, are exactly the same pressures that you're seeing in other European countries. And in those countries, we -- in many of those countries, we have also seen attack to maybe more populous forms of politics. Hanna was exactly right, that there -- we have the Institute of Fiscal Service (ph) saying that there isn't that much wiggle room. But, it might be reasonable for Keir Starmer to take this kind of moderate middle road and try and be sensible and fiscally responsible. But, the public isn't always necessarily that reasonable. So, yeah, it could be a problem for him if he is promising change that he can't afford and can't deliver.

FOSTER: He is pro-European. He has talked about -- he is committed to Brexit. It's not going to go back into the European Union. But, he certainly wants to re-establish ties with the European Union. What difference does that make to the European economy and the UK economy?

ZIADY: Well, it could help if he manages to do that successfully. So, there are lots of areas where the UK and EU could draw closer together on trade. It might mean that the UK has to adopt those EU legislations and stick closely to EU legislation, which was, of course, a big Brexit sticking point. But, it would really help the UK economy because Brexit has damaged trade. It has damaged inward investment. It has damaged GDP growth, fundamentally.

So, if Starmer can do that, although, again, analysts skeptical that what he is promising is really going to move the needle on the economic costs of Brexit, sort of saying a lot of his agreements are largely technical and will have minimal impact. But, we'll have to kind of wait to see what sort of relationship emerges.

FOSTER: This is a moment of fate where the Brexit is dead, it's being called out from behind you by the anti-Brexit campaigners. They've been here for years. Haven't they? I mean, is Brexit what brought the Tories down?

MCGEE: I think there is a much longer answer to that question. But, yeah, it certainly started a period of absolute chaos, which saw off five Prime Ministers, and it dominated the political agenda for a very long period of time, made it impossible to do virtually anything else. So, yeah, it definitely is a problem.

Coming back to relations with Europe, I mean, I think one of the interesting points is that to improve relations in a way that would make a significant difference to GDP, you might have to start looking at reopening that free trade agreement that the UK has, and that's politically just so toxic at the moment. But, the other point to that is how much the Europeans want to do that. Those negotiations were so awful and -- from -- in Brussels. I'm not sure they're itching to reopen any (inaudible).

FOSTER: Well, I mean, the logistics changing. I mean, what happens if Marine Le Pen gets in? They want to weaker European Union. Perhaps that makes Britain's bargaining position a bit stronger.

ZIADY: It could do. It could do. And I do think what we will see happen, even if we don't see closer ties with the EU necessarily, is we are going to see, hopefully, a period of political stability. So, what Luke was alluding to there is Brexit kind of, you can sell the referendum in 2016, introduce this period of instability and uncertainty because the negotiation took so many years. So, businesses didn't know what kind of agreement we'd have. I think what you're going to see is more investment come in just because of stability, and particularly because Labour has got such a convincing majority. I think it has the sort of power to push through a lot of its policies, and that will give --


ZIADY: -- some clarity and certainty to businesses.

FOSTER: It's all about the hard-right with a golden. That could you recall --

MCGEE: I think we are --



FOSTER: So, it got seats. How many seats?

MCGEE: I think it's four.

FOSTER: Four seats --

MCGEE: Yeah.

FOSTER: -- which is pretty remarkable. People say that doesn't give him a lot of power in Parliament. But, he will have power and he -- because the Conservative Party has been weakened massively, and there is a really good reason for thinking that they might go further right and reform with reform. You've had a big argument in that debate. So, the hard right is going to be part of the debate going forward, even though they didn't win the massive vote.

MCGEE: Two points. So, the first is, yes, the thing that Conservatives now have to do is find a new leader. That debate is going to have a major influence on the future of that party and he said --


MCGEE: -- yeah, who has already come out and said, sorry that we didn't listen to you. And it could be that they decide the way to do that is to ape, borrow policies from reform. The second point I'd make is that Nigel Farage has influence within politics. This is the man who put so much pressure on the Conservatives that David Cameron had to call that Brexit referendum in the first place, to get that from outside parliament. So --

FOSTER: He has created loads of the talking points of recent years.

MCGEE: From outside parliament.


MCGEE: So, yeah, there is -- I think he will have a lot of power. Yes.

FOSTER: OK. Luke, Hanna, thank you so much.

Still to come, Hurricane Beryl is losing some steam after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean. Where the storm is now heading, though, and what damage it may do there?


FOSTER: It really is expected to be a scorching weekend across the U.S., leaving nearly 140 million people under heat alerts. The dangerous heatwave is feeding a fire known as the Thompson Fire in Northern California, where nearly 1,600 hectares have been burned. Firefighters that could see record temperatures above 43 degrees or 110 degrees Fahrenheit through the weekend. Thousands of people under evacuation orders, as the fire creeps closer to their homes. Nearly a dozen firefighters have been injured battling the blaze.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is watching it all unfold in Northern California. Hi, Steph.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Max. Yeah. The majority of those firefighters were because of heat-related illnesses. We are in for some really high temperatures here going through this holiday weekend here in the Northern California area. You combine that heat along with these wildfires, and it's just really dangerous conditions out here.


ELAM (voice-over): Burned out homes and cars left in the wake of a fast-moving wildfire in Oroville, California. The Thompson Fire has burned thousands of acres as of Thursday, with about 12,000 people still under evacuation orders. The fire raging by night, then smoldering and flaring up under triple digit temperatures. 11 firefighters were hurt fighting the blaze, three when a fire truck rolled over, the rest from the heat. All are expected to recover.

NICK SCHULER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, CAL FIRE: It's the difficult conditions that they face.

ELAM (voice-over): Four structures, at least two of them houses, have been destroyed by the fire. More than 12,000 remain at risk. Add in high winds and the damage can be random. In this one neighborhood, homes like this one still standing, while feet away, fire scorched ground, crews still putting out hotspots.


This fire season has been exceptional. More than 130,000 acres burned, a 1,600 percent increase from last year.

SCHULER: This winter, we had a significant amount of rain, but with rain brings growth and the challenge with that is that fuels and vegetation continues to dry out.

ELAM (voice-over): What's helping California firefighters? New technology allowing helicopters to fight the fires at night.

SCHULER: The ability to battle fires at night allows us to gain the upper hand when in normal conditions fire activity decreases at night.

ELAM (voice-over): Now, the concern, fireworks. This video showing how a firework started a three-acre fire in San Francisco in a matter of minutes.


ELAM: And out here in the American West, we are starting to see the impacts of that human-induced climate change, which has told us that we are going to see drier dries and hotter temperatures, and so many records have already fallen this week and more are expected to fall this weekend, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Stephanie, thank you so much for bringing us that update.

Right now, Hurricane Beryl lashing Mexico after hammering the Cayman Islands on Thursday. The storm has weakened to Category 2 hurricane. Beryl is expected to unleash damaging winds, though, and torrential rain over most of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before moving on to Texas. It caused at least nine deaths across the Caribbean this week.

Meteorologist Elisa Raffa tracking this storm because it could still cause or damage of that strength. Couldn't it?

ELISA RAFFA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah. I mean, we still have a dangerous Category 2 hurricane right now. It's a pretty populated tourist areas of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It made landfall Tulum this morning, and we're finding some of these tropical storm force winds up near Cozumel and Cancun this morning, 100 mile per hour winds right now in the center. It is weakening because it's over land, but it could get its act together again, as it gets back into the Gulf of Mexico. We're looking at up to four to six feet of storm surge. That's up to two to three meters of -- two meters of storm surge. Rainfall totals four to six inches. They could be up to 10 inches or 250 millimeters as we go through the day today.

Then, after this, it gets back into the Gulf of Mexico where these waters are very warm, up around 30 degrees Celsius, and will continue to find some strengthening because that warm water is fuel. That could get its act together as it heads towards Texas later this weekend, probably Sunday and into Monday.

Here is what I was mentioning, the sea surface temperatures, we've been talking about this this entire time from Beryl because it has helped to gain its strength multiple times, and it could do it again as it heads towards northern Mexico and southern Texas. What we're watching for closely is this dome of heat and humidity. It will start to weaken and move to east. That's what's going to open up this door for this turn to the north into Texas as we go into the weekend. It's something that we've been watching very closely. So, that's where that track lies right now. We are still looking at some hurricane conditions in the Yucatan Peninsula, as we go through the day today.

Hurricane warnings in effect there. Then it emerges tonight into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico where it could, again, with a warm 30 degrees Celsius sea surface temperatures, warm up again -- again, straight again, and then could gain its hurricane strength again before it heads up towards northern Mexico, southern Texas, and this would be by maybe late Sunday going into Monday. So, we'll have to watch this closely for impacts. This area right here will likely have some watches issued later on today, maybe tropical storm watches or hurricane watches, as we really kind of hone in on that path.

But, regardless of where this goes, we're looking at intense rip currents across these beaches through the holiday weekend. A lot of these beaches will be packed with people that have extended holidays off here in America for the Fourth of July holiday. Rip currents incredibly dangerous, already taken a couple of lives already this season. So, something that we need to really pay attention to, as we go into the weekend. Max.

FOSTER: OK. Thank you so much for that. We will be watching it, of course.

Still to come, a shark, multiple attacks, scary moments for swimmers in Texas on Independence Day. We'll have a live report.




(VIDEO PLAYING) FOSTER: And with that colorful display, the United States turns 248- years-old. All across the U.S., Fourth of July celebrations lit up the sky to celebrate Independence Day. This is the annual fireworks display in Washington. Before the fireworks, there were performances on the West Lawn of the Capitol, from amongst others, Smokey Robinson, Fantasia and Darren Criss.

Once again, Joey Chestnut was victorious, meanwhile, in a hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July, but not on Coney Island, like it usually is. He ate about 57 hot dogs in five minutes at his own showcase event, taking on four U.S. Army soldiers in an all-beef hot dog eating contest on Thursday. The 16-time winner didn't compete at this year's Nathan's famous international hot dog eating contest on Coney Island, after striking a deal with a plant-based foods company "Impossible Foods" earlier this year. He is breaking out.

There were some scary and dangerous moments for thousands of beachgoers in Texas, though, on Independence Day. Authorities believe a shark attacked multiple people in the surf around South Padre Island. Two people were injured by shark bites and two others had encounters with the shark. Authorities used helicopters in an effort to deter the shark and send it back into deeper water. They say it probably wasn't looking to make a meal of the humans, though.


JIM PIGG, FIRE AND OCEAN RESCUE CHIEF, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: These aren't really necessarily attacks. These are investigation bites. Just seeing what's in the water, the waters -- it's been turned up because of the wind. They'll do an investigative bite. Once they find out it's out of fish, they let go, but the damage has been done.


FOSTER: Rosa Flores has more on these shark investigative bites, he is calling them.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, good morning. Yes. We're learning more about and we're having a little technical difficulty. I'm going to do that. We're learning more about those intense moments when beachgoers were scared of this shark and law enforcement were responding and trying to save lives.

Let me start with the heroic acts by the U.S. Border Patrol. There happened to be two off-duty Border Patrol agents that belong to an elite force called BORSTAR. These men and women do this for a living, and we have some photos that you can take a look at. They rescue people for a living and they happen to be on the beach. Now, this is according to a U.S. CBP official, who says that these individuals ran into the water and pulled this victim out of the water and started rendering medical attention immediately.

And according to this official, they applied a tourniquet to this person that had been bitten by a shark. Now, if you know anything about first aid, if a person needs a tourniquet, they could bleed out in a matter of minutes. Now, we don't know the condition of this individual. But, from talking to city officials, they do told me that there are no fatalities related to this case.

Now, the response from first responders was not just by land, it was also by air. We have video of this. Take a look. This is from Lieutenant Chris Olivarez from the Texas Department of Public Safety. He shared this video with us, and you can see the shark lurking, according to Lieutenant Olivarez. The helicopter pilot was flying very low, and it was a specific maneuver to try to keep the shark away from shore, away from the beachgoers. And according to Olivarez, this helicopter pilot stayed out there until the threat had seized from the shark. Now, of course, this was very scary for the beachgoers that were on South Padre Island.

Our producer, Amanda Jackson, spoke to one mother from Harlingen, Texas, this is in the Rio Grande Valley from this area, and she says that her two daughters were in the water when that shark was in the water.


And then all of a sudden, she heard screams, and we have pictures that they posted online that you can take a look at. She heard screams. Her daughters were running out of the water. One of her daughters had blood on her leg. This, of course, was terrifying for this mother. That's the girl that you can see with gauze around her leg. The good news is that both girls are OK. But, of course, it was very scary.

Now, there was another shark incident. This involved a man. The father-in-law of this man was with him when the shark pulled him under. Here is what he had to say. Take a listen.


RAYNER CARDENAS, FATHER-IN-LAW OF MAN BIT BY SHARK: I turned around. He wasn't there anymore. I started swimming towards him. And then, he jumped up out of the water saying, shark, shark, shark, and that's when adrenaline kicked in. I went right after him.


FLORES: And Max, again, we don't know the conditions of all of the patients. But, from speaking to city officials, they say that there are no fatalities, and they also say that it's very rare to see these types of sharks in this area. And Max, I can attest to that. I grew up in that area. I grew up going to that particular beach, and I never saw sharks in the water. So, this is definitely rare, and for those beachgoers, a very scary experience. Max.

FOSTER: Yeah. I mean, force (ph) absolutely with them, particularly watching your family suffer like that. Rosa, thank you so much for joining us in Texas.

Well, thanks for joining me here in London on CNN Newsroom. Connect the World is up next with Eleni Giokos.