Boris Johnson has hailed Joe Biden’s inauguration as a “step forward”, as he attempts to build UK-US relations.
The Prime Minister congratulated President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris on Wednesday. He said the inauguration was a “big moment” for the UK and America and their “joint common agenda”.
Adding: “When you look at the issues that unite me and Joe Biden and the UK and the United States right now, there’s a fantastic joint common agenda. I really congratulate Joe and Kamala Harris on their achievement.”
The Prime Minister appeared to criticise Donald Trump’s Presidency, referring to it as a “bumpy period”, when commenting on Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Mr Johnson stated: “It is a fantastic thing for America. It is a step forward for the country that’s been through a bumpy period and, for us and America, it’s a big moment.”
Joe Biden made many changes on his first day as US President, including removing a bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.
Boris Johnson played down the removal, with his official spokesman stating: “The Oval Office is the President’s private office and it is up to the President to decorate it as he wishes.”
However, when Barack Obama removed the bust in 2016 as President, Mr Johnson referred to it as a “snub to Britain”. Former President Donald Trump restored the bust to the Oval Office.
Nigel Farage expressed his concerns at the bust’s removal, saying it was “a slap in the face to the British and any prospects of good relations”.
Mr Johnson was the first European leader to be called by Mr Biden as President, following his victory over Mr Trump in November. Ministers hope the UK’s hosting of the G7 summit and COP26 climate conference this year will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to form a bond over their shared commitment to tackling climate change.
Mr Biden has previously described Mr Johnson as a “clone” of Donald Trump.