United Kingdom

Boris ‘looking forward’ to working with Joe Biden after first phone call

Boris Johnson said it was ‘great’ to speak to the new US leader

Boris Johnson said it was ‘great’ to speak to the new US President after the two leaders shared their first call since Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The Prime Minister revealed news of their contact on Twitter, uploading a picture of him on the phone in his Downing Street office.

He tweeted: ‘Great to speak to President Joe Biden this evening.

‘I look forward to deepening the longstanding alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.’

Mr Biden was officially sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, following a turbulent end to Donald Trump’s four year term.

Downing Street said that Mr Johnson congratulated Mr Biden on his inauguration, and that the two leaders looked forward to ‘deepening the close alliance’ between their nations.

Boris Johnson on the phone to Joe Biden at Downing Street (Picture: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St)
He congratulated Mr Biden on his inauguration (Picture: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St)

The pair are understood to have spoken for 35 minutes, with Mr Johnson telling the new president his arrival in the White House was a ‘moment of hope in a dark time’, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A No 10 spokesman said that the Prime Minister warmly welcomed Mr Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and the World Health Organisation.

‘The Prime Minister praised President Biden’s early action on tackling climate change and commitment to reach net zero by 2050,’ the spokesman said.

‘Building on the UK and US’ long history of cooperation in security and defence, the leaders re-committed to the Nato alliance and our shared values in promoting human rights and protecting democracy.

‘They also discussed the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries, and the Prime Minister reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible.

‘The leaders looked forward to meeting in person as soon as the circumstances allow, and to working together through the G7, G20 and Cop26 this year.’

The call makes Mr Johnson the first European leader to get a call from Mr Biden.

This will come as some relief to Downing Street amid concerns about the way Mr Johnson’s perceived closeness to Mr Trump would be seen by the new administration.

The Prime Minister is regarded with deep suspicion by some senior Democrats around Mr Biden who – unlike the former president – was no fan of Brexit.

Many were offended when Mr Johnson called former president Barack Obama ‘part-Kenyan’ during the 2016 EU referendum campaign, while Mr Biden once described the PM as a ‘physical and emotional clone’ of Mr Trump.

Boris is the first European leader to speak to the new US President (Picture: Andrew Parsons/ No10 Downing St)

Earlier this week, the former head of the civil service Lord Sedwill said Mr Johnson would be glad Mr Trump had not been re-elected for a second term as US president.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said those who believed the PM would have preferred Mr Trump to win again were ‘mistaken’.

The former cabinet secretary – who stepped down in September – said a second term for Mr Trump ‘would not have been to the benefit of British or European security, to transatlantic trade, let alone the environmental agenda to which the prime minister is so committed’.

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