Boris Johnson has claimed Labour’s “hostile” response to Donald Trump’s election as president could damage United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States.
The foreign secretary said today British politicians should be “as positive as we possibly can” towards the incoming American administration and said the UK hoped to “shape and influence” Trump’s presidency.
Speaking in the Commons, Boris also dismissed Trump’s suggestion that Nigel Farage be appointed the UK’s ambassador to the US.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Theresa May should show the “moral backbone” to tell Trump “he is wrong on climate change”. She said the prime minister should “lead the world in condemning” the president-elect if he walked away from global climate change deals as it would be a “dangerous development for the future of our planet”.
Trump has previously claimed climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese - something Beijing was forced to deny.
Johnson told Thornberry: “I really must say to the right honourable lady that I believe she is being premature in her hostile judgments of the administration-elect.
“And any such premature verdict, I believe, could be damaging to the interests of this country. It is important for us in this country to use our influence, which is very considerable, to help the United States to see its responsibilities, as I’m sure they will.”
He added: “I think it is vital that we are as positive as we can possibly be about the new administration-elect. And, as I have said before, I believe the UK-US relationship is of vital importance.
“I think that president-elect Trump is a deal maker. And when it comes to climate change, this is something that the UK has led on globally, we have had outstanding success and, yes - I’m very open with the House - it is a message that we are taking to the administration, we believe it to be important, we believe it be in the interests of the United States and of the world.”
In the early hours of this morning Trump tweeted his support for the idea of Farage as UK ambassador to Washington. Farage was the first British politician to meet the president-elect following the election and the Ukip leader has been promoting himself as intermediary between Downing Street and the White House.
However Johnson rejected Trump’s suggestion.”We have a first rate ambassador in Washington doing a very good job of relating both with the present administration and the administration to be - and there is no vacancy,” the foreign secretary said.