Watch: Rishi Sunak gets locked out of No 10

Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte, the Dutch premier, shared an awkward encounter on the steps of Downing Street after the two leaders appeared to be temporarily locked out of Number 10.

The Prime Minister welcomed Mr Rutte, the outgoing leader of the Netherlands, to Downing Street on Wednesday to discuss a range of issues including the Middle East, Ukraine and illegal migration.

After Mr Sunak walked outside to greet Mr Rutte on the steps, where the two posed for photographers, the leaders were then left bemused when they were unable to access Number 10.

Video captured Mr Sunak placing his hands on the door before both men appeared to investigate the delay. The door was eventually opened from the inside.

The bizarre moment may be the final diplomatic meeting between Mr Sunak and Mr Rutte after the four-time Dutch prime minister announced he was quitting politics after the collapse of his coalition government in a row over immigration earlier this year.

Geert Wilders, the veteran politician known for his anti-Islam views, secured victory in the Dutch general election last month.

The meeting was the first Mr Sunak had held with a European counterpart after he cancelled planned talks with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister, at the last minute following a row over the Elgin Marbles.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “The leaders discussed a range of geopolitical issues, including the situation in the Middle East. They expressed regret at the breakdown of the pause in fighting to release hostages and agreed that it was vital that more aid was able to get into Gaza, including by exploring new routes.

“They also agreed on the critical importance of preventing regional escalation and a unified effort to prevent attempts to threaten maritime security.”

Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte found themselves unable to get in to Number 10
Rishi Sunak and Mark Rutte found themselves unable to get in to Number 10 - Martyn Wheatley/i-Images

The spokesman said Mr Sunak “reflected on his recent conversations with President Zelensky and reiterated that support for our Ukrainian allies must remain steadfast throughout the winter and beyond”.

He added that Mr Sunak and Mr Rutte “agreed on the vital importance of tackling the scourge of illegal migration”, adding: “The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Rutte for his leadership over the last 13 years as the Netherlands’ longest-serving prime minister.”

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