Joe Biden should not feel that he is too old to be President of the United States as he is over the age at which the UK Government wants peers to retire, Sir Keir Starmer has suggested.

The Government is planning to bring in new measures to force peers to retire at the age of 80 in the House of Lords in a bid to bring down the size of the chamber.


Ahead of Starmer’s meeting with Biden at a Nato summit in Washington later on Wednesday, the Prime Minister was asked if this policy meant that Biden – who is 81- should also be retiring from public office.

Starmer told GB News and a group of reporters en route to Washington: “In terms of the age in the House of Lords, the simple fact is that our House of Lords is massive. It’s the second biggest political chamber in the world.

Sir Keir Starmer spoke to journalists ahead of the Nato summit

PA

“I think it’s only the Chinese who have a bigger political chamber than our House of Lords, we have to reduce it.

“That is the primary driver of the retirement at 80. You can see why that needs to be done. We’ve got 800-plus members of the House of Lords, it’s simply too big. We need to reduce it.

“So it doesn’t reflect on how other elected representatives are chosen in other countries, it’s to do with the size of the House of Lords.”

Asked what he will discuss with Biden, he said: “I’ve already had a phone call with President Biden. I want to follow up on that, this is obviously a very special relationship we have between the UK and the US.

“We have, within that, a special aspect when it comes to defence and security for obvious reasons including our commitment to Nato.

“We make a unique contribution in Europe to Nato and therefore it’s a very good opportunity for me to talk to the President about how we take forward the important work at this summit.”