Europe

Joe Biden's victory 'will be a relief for Downing Street'

Boris Johnson’s Government will be relieved about Joe Biden’s win and Donald Trump’s exit from the White House, a former foreign secretary has said.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind said Downing Street will look forward to a Biden administration for its ‘predictability and coherence’.

Biden was officially named as the President-elect on Saturday, after more than four days of vote counting, but Trump continued to deny his defeat, claiming he had won ‘71,000,000 legal votes, the most EVER for a sitting President’.

Commenting on the presidential race, Sir Malcolm told Times Radio that Trump was departing the White House in a ‘combination of spasm, frustration and general irresponsibility’.

He said: ‘I suspect 10 Downing Street, although it will never say this, will actually also be slightly relieved that they will be dealing with an American president who’ll be predictable, who will not tweet policy when he wakes up in the morning and who will therefore be able to be part of a coherent approach to the issues that we’ll face in government.’

Sir Malcolm’s comments were echoed by former ambassadors to the US Sir Nigel Sheinwald and Sir Christopher Meyer.

Sir Christopher told Times Radio: ‘I think Downing Street and the United Kingdom, and certainly the Foreign Office, should truly welcome a Biden presidency and a return to some kind of normality and predictability and thinking through policy issues, where the Americans will discover that they and we see things very much eye-to-eye around the world.’

Sir Nigel told the radio show that he thinks Number 10 ‘should’ be relieved ‘if they’re thinking about the long-term interests of the UK’.

There have been reports that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris do not like Boris, with one of Obama’s former aides, Tommy Vietor, tweeting: ‘We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump.’

He was referring to when Johnson spoke about Obama’s decision to remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and said it was ‘a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire.’

Sir Malcolm, who served as foreign secretary during Bill Clinton’s administration, later warned about making sizeable comparisons between Trump and Boris.

He said: ‘It’s often said that Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are blood brothers. No. I think that’s a rather silly exaggeration.

‘Yes, they both have a shock of white hair, yes they both use populist rhetoric and can be accused of having a rather unusual private life, but there the similarity comes to an end.’

Pennsylvania pushed Joe Biden over the finish line before the media called his win on Saturday at 11:20am. 

Biden has given his victory speech promising to unite the country but Trump still has not conceded.

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