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US allies fear a new Trump presidency may be one step closer after Biden ‘implodes’ at CNN debate

Joe Biden’s rocky performance against Donald Trump at the first televised presidential debate of the 2024 US election cycle has left some of America’s foreign allies bracing for a belated second Trump presidency.

The president, 81, spoke in a hoarse and raspy voice on the CNN debate stage in Atlanta, Georgia, cutting a frail figure and trailing off while speaking at least once, leaving his gloating Republican rival, 78, to observe: “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said either.”

The White House later said Biden was suffering from a cold but he also missed multiple chances to hold Trump to account over his recent criminal conviction and chaotic record in office from 2017 to 2021, which ended with the failed assault on the US Capitol by a violent mob of his supporters.

Biden did rally somewhat in the second half of the 90-minute encounter to attack the billionaire businessman over his sleazy personal history and alleged “suckers and losers” remark regarding the military but, overall, Biden’s performance left his fellow Democrats in “deep panic”, with some openly speculating about replacing him as their party’s nominee.

Among those watching in horror overseas was the former British ambassador to the US Lord Kim Darroch, who told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning: “Joe Biden should stand aside. This was a historically bad performance. He was inaudible, incoherent and lost his train of thought several times.

“Some of his answers simply made no sense. The one, ‘we have beaten Medicare’, will be repeated a thousand times between now and the election. He should stand down – it’s very hard to see him winning now.”

Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of Britain’s

Read more on independent.co.uk