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Labour Defeats Conservatives in Landslide U.K. Election Win; Biden to Conduct Crucial Interview with ABC News Today; Voting Underway in Iran's Presidential Runoff; One-on-One with French Far-Right Leader Marine Le Pen; Biden's Mental Acuity Questioned After Debate Debacle; New U.K. Prime Minister Starmer Making Cabinet Picks. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 10:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome to the second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos, I'm in for my colleague Becky


And this hour an in-depth look at the political shakeups that will shape the world for years to come. In the United Kingdon, a resounding Labour

victory after 14 years of Conservative rule, but the win for the center left is an anomaly in Europe right now. France will go back to the polls

this weekend and the far-right are on the front.

CNN's chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour sat down with National Rally Party leader, Marine Le Pen.

In the Middle East, voting is wrapping up in Iran's presidential elections with two starkly different candidates. We're live in Tehran.

And in the United States, the Biden campaign has a new strategy but will anything be enough to shake off last week's debate disaster?

Where a new political era is beginning in the past few hours, Keir Starmer has been formally appointed as the new British prime minister. It follows a

landslide win by his Labour Party. In his first address as prime minister, Mr. Starmer said his priority is bringing about meaningful change for the

whole of the U.K.


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: With respect and humility, I invite you all to join this government of service in a mission of national

renewal. Our work is urgent and we begin it today. Thank you very much.


GIOKOS: Our Nic Robertson has more on a momentous day for British politics.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Number 10 Downing Street has a new tenant, the United Kingdom, a new leader. After

the Conservative Party's worst defeat in its history, Sir Keir Starmer and his Labour Party are now in power after a landslide victory Thursday's

general election.

STARMER: 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. Country first. Party second.

ROBERTSON: But it wasn't smiles all round. The now former prime minister Rishi Sunak held on to his seat in North Yorkshire, but looking downbeat,

said he would step down as leader of his Conservative Party, a party that has ruled for the last 14 years.

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: To the contrary, I would like to say first and foremost I am sorry. I have given this job my all, but you

have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgment that matters. I have heard your

anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.

ROBERTSON: Both men made their mandatory visits to the king. And now the transfer of power is complete. As dawn broke and newspapers hit the stands,

there was no doubt who won. Many well-known Conservative lawmakers lost their seats. Among them, Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Commons, Penny

Mordaunt, and most significantly, the short-lived prime minister, Liz Truss, was booted out.

For the far-right, a success after eight attempts. Reform Party leader Nigel Farage won a seat in parliament. His party taking a total of four in

the House of Commons.



ROBERTSON: It was a good night for Jeremy Corbyn, too, the former leader of the Labour Party, now running as an independent candidate, held onto his

longtime constituency of Islington North.

For many in the U.K. a hope of change and with the turnout of just 60 percent a sign that change needs to come.


GIOKOS: All right. Nic Robertson now joins us from Downing Street.

Nic, look, I mean, the big question is, what can we expect to see from the Labour Party that's now back in charge after 14 years? And I have to say,

many promises of trying to reform and change the United Kingdom. And the question is, you know, what tools will Keir Starmer have at his disposal?

So what can we expect?


ROBERTSON: Well, the primary tool of any prime minister that wants to deliver on ambitious changes he does is how much money is there in the

kitty. And over my shoulder, you can see 11 Downing Street. That's the home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We expect a new Chancellor of the

Exchequer to be announced very soon.

And it's expected that the former shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer for Keir Starmer in their Shadow Cabinet, Rachel Reeves, who was trained at the

Bank of England and is well-respected in the city and among the markets here as a very safe and competent pair of hands, is expected to be

appointed and she might actually appear at that door in the next few minutes.

That is perhaps the first and shortest answer to how does Keir Starmer do it. He works with his Chancellor of the Exchequer. Their fear to see what

they have, where they can find additional funds, where they can potentially move money around. But as Keir Starmer said earlier today in his speech, he

said the ambition that he has looks lofty. He sort of moved the delivery point expected to -- it was expected to do this closer to the horizon,

talking about the building of schools, to building of houses and homes.

But that this would take time, and the expectations have been set. They are ambitious, the Labour Party, to deliver a huge number of new homes in their

first term in office. But not get the maximum number per year in the first year because it takes time to organize. So I think that's what we're going

to see from the prime minister. Turn to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, see what they've got, and then plan.

This is a prime minister we're told is not flashy. You know, some people sort of call him no drama Starmer. He's not flashy. He sets a path and he

works at it carefully. But the key question will be, does the chancellor find where they can get the money to deliver on these ambitions? And maybe

we'll get a hint to that in a few minutes.

GIOKOS: Yes, and really good point as we wait for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to be officially announced. I mean, you know, they don't want to

the spook the market. So it has to be business friendly, but also take into consideration what is needed on the ground.

As we wait for that announcement, Nic, I want to talk about what comes next for the Conservatives Party. Rishi Sunak, of course conceding defeat and

also apologizing saying he's taking full responsibility. But what happens to the Conservatives?

ROBERTSON: It's really interesting. I mean, look, they clearly and they understand face significant challenge from Reform, who sort of attack them

on their right. This was the party that was once the party that pushed for Brexit and it's significant that Nigel Farage, its leader, who's tried

eight times but now succeeded to get a seat in parliament, will have a voice in the chamber and he is a loud voice who make sure that his points

get heard.

So I think in that way, the conservatives are going to find themselves heckled from the right-wing, those who are demanding more change or higher

standards, if you will, and turn reducing immigration. That has been a significant part of their platform. Obviously, the Conservatives not in


And the other place where they're going to find the party that will be pulled apart. You know, people that they might have turned to for

leadership like Penny Mordaunt, the former defense secretary, who was expected to maybe put a hat in the ring to challenge the leadership. Now

Rishi Sunak has said he's going to step down as leader of the party. She was seen as a sort of a moderate within the Conservatives.

And of course she's not in that position now. But some of the former ministers who have survived on the right wing of the party thinking Suella

Braverman, the former home secretary, you know, is likely to challenge for leadership of the party. So you can see there's a real potential for the

party to be pulled to the right. The difference now, of course, is for the Conservatives that they're not in government, they're not pulling the party

apart center versus right while they were in government, and having those impacts on the country and the economy that they've had.

They'll now be doing it from opposition, safer if you will for the country. But nevertheless, it's going to be a massive challenge, an attack certainly

on their right flank as well from the Reform Party.

GIOKOS: Look, and when it comes to Keir Starmer's domestic policies, especially on the economic front, we have some idea of what's coming, but I

want to talk about foreign policy and any changes that you're anticipating, Nic.

ROBERTSON: I don't anticipate huge changes. Starmer was asked what he thought about Biden after Bidens disastrous debate with Donald Trump. He

said, you know, he was fatigued from running in his own election than he wasn't going to get caught up in that, but he was pressed on that question.

He said, look, frankly, we are going to work with whoever is in the White House. It is to easier perhaps for a Conservative government to have a

better relationship with a Republican administration of the United States.


But they're very much, Starmer is very much committed to the Trans-Atlantic Alliance of the United States committed to NATO, committed to supporting

Ukraine militarily, committed to a position not totally dissimilar to the United States on Israel.

We've got an insight into what foreign policy might look like. The shadow, former shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, wrote a long detailed

article, "Progressive Realism" I think he called it, in the "Foreign Affairs" and in that he laid out, look, you know, a position on Gaza. We

want to see a Palestinian state. A track towards a Palestinian state as soon as is possible. So that's not dissimilar to the outgoing government


He has talked about the need to look more to Europe, perhaps for U.K. security than relying solely on the Trans-Atlantic Alliance because of the

question marks over a potentially more isolationist U.S. administration in the future. But I think one area we can expect Labour to ratchet up

diplomatic efforts that will be with the European Union to try to patch up that relationship, to try to have a better economic relationship, better

trading relationship with the European Union, something that was significantly damaged after Brexit.

And that will be one of the ways that Labour Party hopes to build the economy of the U.K. to deliver on all the changes that they've ambitiously

talked about.

GIOKOS: Right. Nic Robertson, thank you so much. You're at Downing Street watching closely as new British Prime Minister Keir Starmer announces his

Cabinet. We'll, of course, keep a close watch on all the latest developments. Thanks so much.

An aggressive travel schedule with unscripted events. That's part of the strategy the White House is putting forward to try and shift the narrative

away from President Joe Biden's poor debate performance last week. Now the campaign is planning to send the president and vice president and their

spouses to every battleground state this month. And tonight Mr. Biden hopes to blunt calls for him to exit the presidential race by sitting down for

what will be a closely watched interview with ABC News.

CNN senior reporter Isaac Dovere joins us now to give us an update.

Good to see you. Look, this interview happening tonight will be absolutely critical. But I want to talk about the strategy and whether it's risky

given the strain it'll put on the president. Is there any way they can salvage the campaign?

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: There is certainly a way and I think that one of the things that is true at this moment is that there

are both more people who are going public, who want Biden to leave the race, and more people were going public that would like Biden to stay and

would like to move forward with him as the candidate.

A lot of eyes on that interview today, seeing how he does. He will also be out on the campaign trail in Wisconsin today, and he will be trying to show

that he is vibrant and up to the job of campaigning. That's going to continue into the days ahead and he is leaving a lot of people with big

question marks that he is hoping to answer with what he does, and what he says in these crucial days.

GIOKOS: Yes. Well, in the meantime, you are reporting that behind the scenes a lot is happening and many top Democrats are already starting to

strategize what a Kamala Harris candidacy would look like. What more can you tell us about what's going on?

DOVERE: Yes. Look, as Joe Biden continues here, he has not put a lot of faith in a lot of people so far. And that has led to real questions that

people have of whether it is time to move on and not wait for him anymore. And if that happens, many people think that Kamala Harris, the vice

president, would be the natural successor.

It is as I report reaching the point where a lot of Democrats, a lot of leading Democrats, officials, operatives, and others are saying they're not

waiting for Biden anymore. They've already even gotten to the point where they're starting to think of who Kamala Harris' running mate would be. And

that's what this is at this point for many leading Democrats. But look, it could change with that interview. It could change with what Biden does at

the rally. It's not clear yet.

GIOKOS: Right. Isaac Dovere, great to have you on. Thank you so much.

Well, President Biden's debate performance and recent activities remain under scrutiny. Later on CONNECT THE WORLD, CNN's chief medical

correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers some blunt advice about what Mr. Biden should do to address those concerns.

And voting is underway in Iran's runoff presidential election. Voters are choosing between a reformist candidate and an ultraconservative one. More

on what that could mean for you right after this short break.



GIOKOS: Voting hours in Iran's runoff presidential election have been extended until 8:00 p.m. local time. That is about two hours from now.

Voters are choosing between reformist candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian, and ultraconservative Saeed Jalili. Pezeshkian won the first round with 42.5

percent of the votes. And that first votes saw the lowest turnout for a presidential election since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has reported extensively from Iran and has more on the vote.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right that Masoud Pezeshkian, the moderate candidate, he did

come in first place in the first round of elections where there were still six candidates. Over a million votes ahead of Saeed Jalili, the

conservative who came in second place and who says that he wants his politics to be like those of the president who was killed on May 19th,

Ebrahim Raisi, when of course Raisi and the Foreign Minister Hossein Amir- Abdollahian died in a chopper crash.

However, one of the things that we do have to mention, Eleni, is that while Mr. Pezeshkian came in first in the first round of voting, there were more

people in that round who voted conservative than those who voted moderate. So Jalili got a lot of votes, but there was also a third place candidate

named Mohammad Ghalibaf who has now called on his supporters to vote for Saeed Jalili.

So certainly Jalili has a chance of winning this round in the election. A lot of it once again will depend on voter turnout. Usually the moderates

believe that the more people come to the ballot box is the better their chances are of pulling off a victory. Going to wait and see how that

evolves. Voting set to carry on for a little over an hour, but we do expect that to get extended.

As far as what all of this could mean, the president of course in Iran does have very broad powers to shape policies, to shape foreign policies. But

all of that of course happens within the framework of the Islamic Republic and its power structure. In the end, anything that happens in the Islamic

Republic needs to get signed off and OKed by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

And then of course the whole military complex as far as the defense and the foreign policy is concerned also has a pretty large say. Of course, first

and foremost, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. So all that are factors, nevertheless, there are things that the president does influence

and policies that the president can set. We saw that during the course of Hassan Rouhani's term when he mentioned negotiate the Iran nuclear

agreement. That was later or out of which President Trump of the United States later pulled the U.S. out of.

So it's going to certainly be an election that a lot of people in Iran believe could be very important. And I think the interesting thing that

we're going to be looking at is to what extent that is going to translate into voter turnout. You mentioned it in the first round. The voter turnout

was not very high. However, now that you will directly have a moderate running against the conservative, the turnout could be a lot higher --


GIOKOS: All right, so that's Fred Pleitgen for us.

Joining us now is Iranian journalist Saeed Azimi from Tehran.


Great to see you. Thank you for joining us. Look, the reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian leading the first round, 42 percent of the votes. How

likely is it that he will win the election?

SAEED AZIMI, IRANIAN JOURNALIST: Thank you for having me. I'm assuming you a higher chance for Pezeshkian harder than the hardline candidate Saeed

Jalili, most likely because the people of Iran are right now concerned by the radical views Jalili has espoused to the public.

GIOKOS: All right. Saeed, thank you -- sorry, I thought we have a bit of a technical issue. I want to talk about the lowest voter turnout since the

founding of the Islamic Republic and to what extent is this going to impact the question of the legitimacy of the elections as a whole?

AZIMI: You're right, this was by far the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic. And this has questioned the legitimacy of the system,

mostly because the supreme leader of Iran has said that every vote that is cast in the ballot is a vote towards the Islamic Republic. However, I

myself count these votes that are being cast as we're speaking as rejection votes. I think the people of Iran are actually voting for the reformers,

saying no to the radical views, to the conservative views that have been running the country for the past three years.

Of course, the supreme leader has expressed that he wants the Raisi's path, the late president Ebrahim Raisi's path to be continued but the people of

Iran I think have never been more united to discontinue this path and actually vote for change that would ease restrictions like restrictions on

internet or crackdowns on hijab, and stuff that actually matters to them.

GIOKOS: Yes. So that's a really good point. It's just what are the policy going to be about those really strict laws and what power will the

president actually have? I mean, you're talking about the major differences between the reformer and conservative candidate, but ultimately, it'll be

the supreme leader that has the ultimate hand in what that policy structure will look like regardless of who wins.

AZIMI: True, but we should not forget that the president of Iran will be the chairman of the Supreme National Security Council, which have

significant power and control and dominance over issues like foreign policy or restrictions, domestic policies like hijab crackdowns that would never

be approved without the authority of the president. Of course, this should all be signed off by the leader, by the supreme leader of Iran, but it is

the president who put forth these proposals to the supreme leader.

And it could actually matter what views will win in the Iranian presidential palace and what proposals are put forth to the supreme leader.

GIOKOS: Do you view this as very consequential elections for Iran after what we've seen over the past few years when it comes to women's rights and

of course people in the streets? I just wonder what it means for Iranians at a personal level.

AZIMI: I do not expect a major reform instantly, but if there would be a moderate win as a result of this election, I would expect some sort of

relief for the women of Iran, for the mediocre level of Iran, medium level people in Iran because what matters to them right now is economy. And right

now with the basic salary of $200, people are struggling to put food on their tables.

And yes, to answer your question in a better way. I have never seen -- I have never been witness to a more consequential battlefield in terms of

power struggle in Iran.

GIOKOS: All right. Saeed Azimi, great to have you on. Thank you so much for those insights.

I want to get you up to speed now on some other stories that are on our radar right now.

A seventh body has been found following an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. The group Islamic Jihad reports an Israeli drone attack

kills six of its fighters in the refugee camp. The Palestinian Red Crescent says a seventh body was discovered in the rubble of a home following heavy

gunfire and explosions.


Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula a short time ago. It has weakened to category two hurricane. Beryl killed at least nine

people in its rampage through the Caribbean. Forecasters say it could come ashore in Texas on Monday.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is in Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders will discuss the situation in

Europe and Ukraine. Orban is Putin's closest European ally. Earlier in the week the Hungarian prime minister visited Ukraine where he urged President

Zelenskyy to accept a ceasefire proposal.

And ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, Jonathan Powell has been the (INAUDIBLE) for the new U.K. prime minister before, and he was Tony Blair's chief of

staff. And I'll be asking him about the challenges facing Keir Starmer right after this short break. Stay with CNN.

Plus CNN goes one-on-one with French National Rally leader, Marine Le Pen. We talk about whether her party poses a danger and we'll hear her thoughts

on football star Kylian Mbappe.


GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos live in Abu Dhabi.

Returning to our top story, a new government, a new prime minister and a new era for the U.K. Labour's landslide win in Thursday's general election

sweeps away nearly a decade and a half of Conservative rule and the new prime minister Keir Starmer is pledging to steer the country towards what

he calls calmer waters.

We're also learning about one of his first picks for his Cabinet, naming Angela Rayner as deputy prime minister. And someone who knows all about a

landslide Labour win is Jonathan Powell. He was Tony Blair's chief of staff for more than a decade and he joins us now from Cornwell, England.

So great to have you with us. Thank you so much. Very consequential day in the U.K. I want to talk about the appointment of Angela Rayner as the new

deputy prime minister. It's not a surprise appointment, but what does it say about her left-leaning and progressive this government will ultimately



JONATHAN POWELL, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO TONY BLAIR: I don't think it tells us much about the ideological position because Keir Starmer is very,

very clear. This is to be a practical non-ideological government, and he has a very large majority, so he doesn't need to fear rebellions on the


This is a position very much like the one Tony Blair had with his deputy prime minister John Prescott. He's someone from the older way of the party

or traditional wing of the party to reassure people, and someone who's very committed to this particular subject, the leveling up agenda, having come

from a very deprived background herself. So I think it's not a surprise to anyone and I think most of his Cabinet will be very similar to his Shadow

Cabinet, the people who had been in place for the last year or so. And it's a very strong team.

GIOKOS: Look, he's walking into mega challenges on the domestic front, especially on the economic side of things. And he's got to find balance,

right? He's got to walk a tightrope. He's got to think about what policies he's going to put in place that he doesn't spook business and of course,

make sure that he delivers on his promises.

Do you think it can be done with the resources he has at hand? Because it's a very different scenario that's playing up versus what we saw when Tony

Blair became prime minister.

POWELL: You're absolutely right. You know, in 1997 we actually inherited a growing economy. So although we started, as Keir Starmer is going to in

this case, we stuck to the Tory Party financial planning. So we kept the same budget that they proposed for two years which made life very difficult

for us. We were able to succeed because there's growth in the economy, but we could use that growth to invest in public services.

He's going to have a very difficult time because he's going to have to create growth. It doesn't exist at the moment. And the Tory Party had built

into the budget real fiscal traps will make it very, very difficult for him. They've envisaged sort of spending cuts that are simply not possible

and they knew very well they themselves could not implement. So it's going to be extremely difficult for them. And now they've got into government.

And they'll start looking at the books and seeing how much there is there.

They're going to find it very hard not to disappoint people, not because they promised much, they promised very little in the campaign, but people

would project onto their expectations and danger the Labour government always has been accused of betrayal. They'll accused him of not doing the

things they wanted to do, even though he never promised to do. So, yes, it's going to be very, very difficult indeed.

That's why I think he's emphasizing delivery. He's actually going to get this stuff done because that's what will make a real difference to people's


GIOKOS: You recently wrote this. After being Blair's chief of staff for more than a decade, and I work on conflicts around the world, and it alarms

me how irrelevant Britain has become.

Expound on what you mean by that because here's the thing. We're talking about domestic policy, but I want to talk about foreign policy. Does he --

does Keir Starmer need to take a very strong position on what's happening in Gaza, on Ukraine, relationship with the U.S. and NATO? What is your

sense on this following what you had written?

POWELL: Most new prime ministers come into position but knowing nothing about foreign policy and really having very little experience. So that was

true with Tony Blair. Actually it's true for Thatcher as well. They haven't had that experience in foreign policy. So they had to learn on the job. And

he's going to have to learn very fast. He's going into the NATO summit next week as the new boy. He'll have his first meeting with President Biden, the

first meeting with other leaders in NATO.

And the week after he's hosting here in Britain a big European summit with all the leaders of Europe. That will be his sort of first step onto the

European stage. So it could be a real baptism of fire for him in terms of foreign policy. And sadly, Britain has become irrelevant since Brexit,

partly because we've been so preoccupied with ourselves. Ever since Brexit, it's like when you eat a big meal. All the blood goes to the stomach and

you find yourself just focusing internally. We're going to have to look out again now, we have to get engaged again, make ourselves relevant.

And he's got a chance to do this but it's going to be very difficult without sources. For example, if he needs to spend 2.5 percent of GDP on

defense, remember we spend 2 percent, that's going to require finding the money from somewhere. So it will be difficult for him. In terms of Gaza,

it's politically very difficult. He's lost a number of seats in the election because of the stances taken on Gaza. Independent candidates

running on the Gaza issue are one seat away from Labour. So it'd be very difficult issue for him.

And his best bet I think is to show himself in a leading role to actually be trying to bring about a peaceful settlement in Gaza or ceasefire,

release of the hostages and progress towards a two-state solution.


POWELL: But we have become rather relevant to that. We weren't part of the equation. This is being discussed by the governments in the Gulf, is being

discussed by U.S. even Europe had some sort of role. But we really had no role at all. I think the new government committed to internationalism has a

much better chance of this being significant to that debate.

GIOKOS: So we're getting information in real time as Keir Starmer is announcing his Cabinet. Former shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel

Reeves, has just been appointed.


What in your mind should be sort of the first policy move by her to not only deliver on the promises, but also ensures stability on the economic

front to -- you know, I mean, and Keir Starmer, who sells it, look, we're dealing with the volatile new world. It's difficult to navigate these

waters. And it's going to be a tough job for Rachel Reeves one would assume.

POWELL: It should be a very tough job and the single most important job in this government besides the prime minister. And luckily they have a very

good relationship, very good working relationship on which much will depend. I think her first problem is going to be the public finances

because what people expect in this country is that we rebuild the infrastructure. The country doesn't work at the moment, neither the health

service, the roads, nothing. So she's going to have to find a way of doing that as we've said, very little money.

Then the second problem she faces is that she's committed to achieving growth and Britain is now outside the E.U. And we're going to find

ourselves caught in this dance with the elephants. So you have the United States, China, the E.U. making these rules on trade, business and so on.

We're going to find ourselves outside those discussions. The people who wanted Brexit had this notion that somehow we would be agile and outside of

an operation WTO system.

The WTO is becoming increasingly irrelevant. So it's going to be very, very difficult indeed for Britain. It's going to have to be very agile in the

way that it responds. The good news is the markets are responding well to the election results. They're much expected, of course. So, so far so good,

at least we haven't gone the way of the Liz Truss government that crashed the markets once they came in.

GIOKOS: So, look, we've got the U.S. presidential elections later this year. And the big question is, you know, if President Trump becomes --

former president Trump becomes president again, you know, what would that Trans-Atlantic relationship look like? And I guess it's also hinges on his

foreign policy issues, like the one with Gaza and Israel.

How concerned are you about that relationship being maintained as it stands right now?

POWELL: Well, Tony Blair had the experience of shifting from President Clinton to whom he's very close to President George W. Bush. Now, I suspect

that Prime Minister Keir Starmer would have extremely good relationship with Joe Biden when he meets him next week. But he'll have to also be

prepared for the possibility that Americans vote for Trump in November. Interestingly, his foreign minister David Lammy, shadow foreign secretary,

has already been to Washington, meeting people close to Trump like J.D. Vance, et cetera.

So they are trying to reach out to Trump in case they need to work with Trump as opposed to Biden. So I imagined that they will -- because the

Trans-Atlantic relationship is so important to Britain, they will try and make sure that even if it's Trump, they have good relations. But like all

European, they're nervous. And I want to reassure themselves by having closer relations in Europe, too. Cooperation on defense and security there,

which is something anyway that Trump would want.

GIOKOS: Right. Jonathan Powell, great to have you with us, sir. Thank you so much for your insights and your analysis. Have a fantastic weekend.

Thank you.

All right. So the center left saw a big win in Britain, but that's not necessarily how the winds are blowing elsewhere in Europe. This is the last

day of campaigning in France before round two of its snap election on Sunday. The far-right National Rally lead in the first round, and CNN's

Christiane Amanpour sat down for an exclusive interview with its leader Marine Le Pen.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: 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, NATIONAL RALLY LEADER (through translator): 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's 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's actually refusing to let French people express themselves freely. It's rather paradoxical.

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

LE PEN (through translator): I'm not much of a football enthusiast, I'll be frank.


AMANPOUR: But as a national hero?

LE PEN (through translator): 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 1300 or 1400 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?

LE PEN (through translator): Yes. And 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 restraints. 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 stand hearing anymore 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.


GIOKOS: All right. Tune in to "AMANPOUR" to see the full interview with Marine Le Pen. That is Friday evening in Paris right here on CNN.

We're going to a very short break and after this, the new British prime minister is selecting and announcing his Cabinet. We'll bring you an

update. Stay tuned.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. And new U.K. prime minister Keir Starmer is wasting no time on his first day in office. He is making his choices for his

Cabinet, starting with Angela Rayner as deputy prime minister and Rachel Reeves making history as the U.K.'s first female finance minister.


We've got Nic Robertson joining us from downing street. As new Cabinets announcements trickle in, important names, Nic, but not surprising frankly.

ROBERTSON: No, not surprising. So far he hasn't appeared -- the prime minister hasn't appeared and sort of breakout of appointing the Shadow

Cabinet to the actual Cabinet positions. A few minutes ago, Rachel Reeves, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, came out, literally stood on the

doorstep there for some photographs and a little bit of video to be taken. And I said, Chancellor, does it feel good to be called chancellor, and she

said it does.

So clearly for these ministers able to get a moment to enjoy the fact after all this hard work, they've finally arrived and with it, the responsibility

of delivering in government, a government that Keir Starmer has laid out what he wants to achieve. One that's going to deliver a better economy,

that's going to deliver a better health service, better on crime and justice, more jobs in the green sector.

A lot of different things he expects to deliver on. But the names of the people who is picking in the Cabinet, of people who have had those

portfolios in opposition like John Healey, defense for a long time, Yvette Cooper, the home secretary. People, names who are familiar for the people

of the U.K. who will have seen them on TV multiple times in the campaign, who will have heard their comments over the years, experienced politicians.

It is an experienced Cabinet that the prime minister is pulling together. Of course, experience in opposition for most of them. Ed Miliband was in

there as well going in. We saw going in David Lammy, the former shadow foreign secretary. He now the actual foreign secretary. So these people all

stepping into portfolios that they should be very familiar with. Now, of course rather than faulting the government on what the government is doing

wrong, they are the government. And it would be them making the policy and acting on it.

GIOKOS: Yes. Interesting turn of events, right. Instead of criticizing the government, they get to make the decisions now. I think Rachel Reeves is a

name that we're going to be hearing a lot of as we watch very closely what happens on the economic policy front, Nic. So thank you for that updates

and good to have you on the ground there for us.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. There's more news ahead. Stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Questions are still swirling over U.S. President Joe Biden's mental acuity after his halting debate performance in Atlanta last week. The White

House is downplaying any potential problems. And our CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, says it is time for the president to

undergo detailed cognitive and urological testing, and also share his results. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now live for more analysis.

Sanjay, great to have you with us. I want to start off with your reaction to the debate. You were watching closely, watching his performance, his

ability to field those questions and especially what transpired over the last week. What is your assessment?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was concerning, and I think what was particularly concerning was how quickly we saw some of

these signs that I think many people have been noting.


This is -- the essay that I wrote is not a political essay. It's a medical essay and many of the signs that I think people noticed were not

necessarily new, Eleni, but I think that they were pretty profound and pretty sustained. And I think that's why you do testing in situations like


The real question I think you're trying to answer is, are these sort of intermittent episodes which could be explained by a lot of things? Poor

night sleep, low blood sugar, a viral illness or something like that, new medication. Or is there something deeper going on, a condition? And that is

why you do testing.

I'll tell you I was actually overseas. I watched the debate. I got lots of e-mails and texts and calls from other brain doctors, colleagues of mine

from all over the world. And many of the things that they noticed were the same things, you know, the halting speech, at times confused rambling, loss

of facial expression which can sometimes be a concern. So these types of things I think raise a level of concern and I think it just means get

testing to figure out, is there a condition for these episodes?

The White House, as you know, Eleni, has been asked about this and they basically say, look, it was a bad night, and they chalk it up to poor

sleep, jet lag, and the president having a cold, which again it could be but the way you sort of distinguish that is to do some of this testing. If

it were my patient or if it were my father, I would advocate for this sort of testing in large part because you get an answer. But also there's

sometimes things you can do about it for the benefit of the patient.

GIOKOS: Absolutely. You're saying that he needs to get tested and he also needs to publish those results for full transparency as well. But he has

undergone full medical exams four months ago. What did it say? And is it similar to the tests that you would be considering now after what you saw

at the debate?

GUPTA: Well, one of the things that it did not have was cognitive testing, and when the White House was asked specifically about cognitive testing,

they said the doctors did not see a need for it, that he is out in public every day. That is essentially a cognitive test, which is, you know,

frankly what a lot of other presidents and candidates have said in the past as well. But that was not included.

What they did sort of put as part of that was about a six-page assessment based on interaction with 20 different medical specialists including a

neurologist and they ruled out things primarily, Eleni. They said, look, there's no evidence of stroke. There's no evidence of multiple sclerosis.

Theres no evidence of Parkinson's disease, for example.

What is important, though, is that take Parkinson's disease, for example. That is the most common cause of Parkinsonism but there are other things

that could cause Parkinsonism as well. There was no mention made that those things were investigated or ruled out. And that's why you need more

detailed cognitive testing and more detailed movement disorder testing to really figure out what's going on there.

And I think, again, most importantly, because it might benefit the person now, if any of those test results come back positive. You could do

something about it.

GIOKOS: Yes. So, Sanjay, I mean, we know we've got that big ABC interview later today, and I think everyone is going to be watching closely, you

know, what he says, how he performs, his body language, all of that. So I'm sure you'll be watching closely, too.


GIOKOS: Sanjay Gupta, always great to have you with us. Thank you so much.

I want to bring in our breaking news out of London. The U.K. prime minister naming his Cabinet. We've been covering that over the past couple of hours.

Nic Robertson joining us now from Downing Street with more.

Nic, great to have you back with us. What more can you say about the names that are trickling in?

ROBERTSON: Well, one of them is a name who's really been setting out what he will be doing in his role over a month ago. He wrote an article for

"Foreign Affairs" called "Progressive Reform." And this was written by David Lammy, who was at the time shadow foreign secretary, now appointed as

foreign secretary. He was laying out a sort of a thesis on what a Labour foreign policy might look like.

And this was one that would want Gaza, the Gaza conflict ended. It's one where he would see and the Labour Party would want to see a Palestinian

state as soon as is reasonably possible. It's a party that's going to support NATO, is going to support Ukraine, is going to want to have a

strong Trans-Atlantic Alliance. We know that the prime minister himself has said he wants to have a good relationship with whomever is in the White

House in the United States.

But Lammy also laid out a situation where the United States may be looking more towards Asia, may be loosening its defense cooperation in the future

with Europe, its European partners at NATO.


And for that reason, he said, you know, it was important for the U.K. to look towards Europe and European allies and partners for defense as well.

We know that the party wants to improve relationships more broadly with the Europe Union, because they see that as a way to improving the economy in

the U.K., to improving the trade barriers and relationships with the E.U. since Brexit, which a bit beginning to be part of the debate here in the

U.K. that Brexit really has hurt the economy here.

And this is a way that the Labour Party will see how they can deliver on their promise to improve the economy by having a better trading and a more

easy, frictionless trading relationship with the European Union. Not clear how quickly that could be accomplished. And I think on China as well, a

policy -- the U.K. would have a policy under Labour very similar to what it had with the Conservatives. This is a policy which would look badly, if you

will, on China's trading tactics.

GIOKOS: Yes, a lot of parties there coming through for the new foreign minister.

Nic, I know you haven't slept much. I hope you have a great weekend. It's been incredible to see your reporting and coverage and your analysis on the

ground over the past week. So thank you so much for that.

That was Nic Robertson at Downing Street for us, and that's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. Stay with CNN. "NEWSROOM" is up