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Sun, 29 November 2020

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Boris Johnson Has Spoken To Joe Biden To Congratulate Him On His Election Win And Invite The President-Elect To The UK

Boris Johnson Has Spoken To Joe Biden To Congratulate Him On His Election Win And Invite The President-Elect To The UK

Number 10 released photos of the Prime Minister on a call with the US President-elect Joe Biden this afternoon (Number 10 flickr)

3 min read

Boris Johnson has become the second world leader to speak to Joe Biden since his election win after the pair spoke this afternoon, Number 10 has confirmed.

The Prime Minister invited the US President-elect to come to the UK twice next year as they discussed the “close and longstanding relationship” between the two nations.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “In a call this afternoon the Prime Minister warmly congratulated Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States.

“The Prime Minister also conveyed his congratulations to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.

“They discussed the close and longstanding relationship between our countries and committed to building on this partnership in the years ahead, in areas such as trade and security – including through NATO.

“The Prime Minister and President-elect also looked forward to working closely together on their shared priorities, from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy, and building back better from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The pair are said to have spoken at 4pm and the call lasted 20-25 minutes, with the spokesperson adding: “The Prime Minister invited the President-elect to attend the COP26 climate change summit that the UK is hosting in Glasgow next year. 

“They also looked forward to seeing each other in person, including when the UK hosts the G7 Summit in 2021.”

There had been suggestions Mr Johnson would face difficulties in striking up a relationship with the new man in the White House to match the close one he had with outgoing American leader Donald Trump.

As well as lingering anger over comments the PM made about Barack Obama, who Mr Biden served as vice president, the incoming Commander in Chief has made clear he does not agree with Brexit or the government’s controversial Internal Market Bill.

There are fears this could affect a future UK-US trade deal, and the issue of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU was noticeable in its absence in the readout from the pair’s conversation.

But Number 10 will be pleased to have become just the second world leader Mr Biden has spoken to since his protracted victory in the drawn out contest with Mr Trump was finally confirmed.

The first was with Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau yesterday, and although Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin posted a message on Twitter saying he had also spoken to Joe Biden this afternoon, it was swiftly deleted.

The Irish government said a phone call was still being arranged between the men but had not yet happened, and the tweet was sent in error.

They have since spoken, and Mr Biden has also phoned French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who many expected to get a call from him ahead of Mr Johnson.

Responding to the PM's tweet about speaking to the US president-elect Labour's shadow justice secretary David Lammy posted: "Promoting democracy?

"You should start by condemning your best mate Donald Trump for his attack on the US people's right to have their votes counted. Late would be better than never."

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