'Pressure is on' for Boris Johnson to establish relationship with Biden 'after four years of cosying up to Trump', claims Brexit committee Chair
Boris Johnson has work to do to establish a working relationship with President-elect Joe Biden, politicians have urged, as a Leeds MP accused him of "cosying up" to Donald Trump.
Mr Trump on Saturday became the first incumbent president not to be re-elected for a second term since the 1990s, as a nail-biting four days finally ended in Pennsylvania’s results propelling Mr Biden over the finish line of 270 electoral college votes.
Kamala Harris, meanwhile, is the first female, and Black woman, to be elected as Vice President in the country’s history.
Congratulating the Democrats on their victory, Mr Johnson called the US Britain’s “closest and most important ally”, adding that he looked forward to working with Mr Biden on issues such as climate change and trade.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meanwhile said he expected the Prime Minister to phone Mr Biden “shortly”
In response, however, a former White House aide labelled Mr Johnson a “shapeshifting creep” and referenced comments made suggesting previous president Barack Obama’s “part-Kenyan heritage” was behind his “ancestral dislike of the British empire”.
Tommy Vietor, a former aide of Mr Obama, said: “We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump.”
Mr Johnson has yet to meet Mr Biden, although is said to have joked with Downing Street officials that the Democrat was “one of the few world leaders I haven’t insulted”, according to The Sunday Times.
In December last year, Mr Biden labelled Mr Johnson a “physical and emotional clone” of Mr Trump and is known to be against Brexit.
Closer to home, Labour MP for Leeds Central and Chair of the Brexit select committee Hilary Benn said Johnson had work to do to establish the groundwork for a healthy working relationship with the President-elect, after what he called fours years of “cosying up” to Mr Trump.
Mr Benn said: “After cosying up to Donald Trump, the Prime Minister is likely to find that Joe Biden’s victory makes a trade agreement with the USA more challenging.
“The President-elect spoke out strongly against the Government’s plan to break international law by breaching the EU Withdrawal Agreement, and any trade deal will probably mean having to abandon the offending clauses of the internal market bill.
“And of course, all trade agreements have to get through Congress.”
Mr Benn added: “What this means is that the pressure on the Prime Minister to get the trade deal with the EU that he has repeatedly promised will only increase.
“He is almost out of time and the consequences of no deal would be very bad for many businesses in Yorkshire.”