Dominic Raab Has Refused To Comment On Trump's Baseless Voter Fraud Claims
Dominic Raab refused to be drawn on President Trump's election fraud claims
Dominic Raab said that all votes in elections should be counted "in principle" but refused to get drawn on Donald Trump's claims of voter fraud.
The Foreign Secretary said it was right to proceed "carefully and sensitively" following Joe Biden's victory in the US election but insisted the UK would continue to have a "very strong relationship" with the country.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly made baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the contest and has vowed to challenge several of the results in court.
In a statement after the Mr Biden's election victory was confirmed on Saturday, Mr Raab tweeted: "While some of the processes are still playing out, it is now clear Joe Biden has won. Congratulations to the President-election & Kamala Harris on their historic victory, which saw them win more votes than any candidates in US history.
"It was a close contest and Donald Trump fough hard. Looking forward to working with the new administration - the UK/US friendship has always been a force for good in the world."
But asked by Sky's Sophy Ridge whether his statement could fuel conspiracy theories about election fraud, Mr Raab said: "No, I think that's a very partisan skew on it. The reality is we want to respect the integrity and processes in place.
"It is not for us to start adjudicating on the appeals, claims and counter-claims.
"But what we have said is the result is now very clear. I think it is beyond reasonable doubt, in my view.
"Frankly there are those who want to criticise the UK at this point in time, come what may, on whatever we say and whatever this government says, but I'm going to focus on the substance.
And pressed repeatedly on whether all votes should be counted in any democratic election, Mr Rabb said he did not "want to get drawn in," but added: "In principle, yes of course."
His answer was condemned on social media by shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy.
Meanwhile, Mr Raab insisted the there would continue to be a "very strong relationship" between the two countries, saying they had "so much we can cooperate on".
"[President-elect Biden] will have no greater ally and no more dependable friend than the United Kingdom," he added.
"I know from the work I’ve done with our embassy in Washington… of course there’ll always be points of tension in any relationship… the bedrock, the depth, the range of the things that we do together… these are all things which… we will have a huge amount to cooperate on."
But Labour's shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry urged the UK to speak with "one voice" against the claim of election fraud.
"To have the sitting president saying the result isn't valid is very damaging indeed and so I think it's important we all speak with one voice on this," she said.