Joe Biden Celebrates “Democracy’s Day” As He Is Sworn In As The 46th US President
Boris Johnson has said he “looks forward” to working with President Joe Biden as the Democrat is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
He also congratulated Vice-President Kamala Harris on her “historic inauguration” as she became the first woman to hold the post, as well as the first of Black and South Asian descent.
"I really congratulate Biden and Harris on their inauguration," Johnson said in a televised interview shortly after the inauguration ceremony. "It’s fantastic thing for America, for a country that’s been through a bumpy period and for us and America, it’s a big moment."
The pair were sworn in at a dialled-back ceremony in Washington DC, where the usual crowds were replaced by thousands of American flags placed across the National Mall.
"This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope,” said President Biden in his inaugural address.
“Today we triumph not of a candidate but of a cause. The cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people has been heard. And the will of the people has been heeded."
He also led calls for unity in American politics, insisting that it wasn’t just a “foolish fantasy”.
"Let's start afresh, all of us, let's begin to listen to one another agin. Hear one another, show respect to one another,” he continued.
“Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying all in its path. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manufactured."
Shortly after he was sworn in, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his support for the newly-elected president.
He wrote: “Congratulations to [Joe Biden] on being sworn in as President of the United States and to [Kamala Harris] on her historic inauguration.
“America’s leadership is vital on the issues that matter to us all, from climate change to COVID, and I look forward to working with President Biden.”
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab also extended his good wishes, writing on Twitter: “Many congratulations to [Joe Biden] and [Kamala Harris] on this historic day.
“From climate change to trade and security, our two countries share a close bond and special relationship. We look forward to working with you on shared priorities as a force for good in the world.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Downing Street was forced to rebuke comments by former prime minister Theresa May in which she suggested that Boris Johnson has abandoned Britain's position of "global moral leadership".
“Other countries listen to what we say not simply because of who we are, but because of what we do,” she wrote.
“The world does not owe us a prominent place on its stage. Whatever the rhetoric we deploy, it is our actions which count. So, we should do nothing which signals a retreat from our global commitments.”
“The arrival of President Biden provides Britain with a golden opportunity. He is an experienced hand, having served eight years as a diplomatically engaged vice president.”
But, responding to the comments, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The UK is and will continue to be an outward-looking nation and will continue to be a leading voice on the international stage.”
“The prime minister, as you would expect any British prime minister, had a good working relationship with President Trump,” they said.
“It’s important that the British government has those close working relationships, and the prime minister looks forward to working with Joe Biden in his presidency.”