NEWYORK (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May struck an unusual deal with New York police to help stricken British officials make their flight home on Wednesday: a high-speed escort through airport traffic in exchange for a picture with the British leader.
Fresh from a meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump at the United Nations, May cruised through rush-hour New York traffic in a police-escorted motorcade, but a vehicle carrying eight senior aides was forced to stop with gearbox failure.
May’s Royal Air Force jet waited on the tarmac at John F Kennedy airport for nearly an hour while the officials waited for a replacement vehicle and struck a deal with a local police patrol car for an escort to the runway.
After a lengthy wait, the prime minister warned the delayed delegates they had six minutes to make it to the plane or they would be left behind, two of the officials said.
But with the help of three New York Police Department Officers they made it in time and May honoured the deal by posing with the policemen on the steps to her plane.
The officers got staff to take the picture on a cell phone, while May’s official photographer also captured the event. Staff gave her and the late arrivals a round of applause as they re-entered the plane.
“New York’s finest rescued the PM’s team from the side of the freeway and got us to the runway for the flight home,” a source said.
“Just another way to deepen the special relationship, and we’re very grateful for their help.”
(Reporting by Wiliam James, editing by Sarah Young)