POLITICS

US Election Results: Theresa May Congratulates Donald Trump As Jeremy Corbyn Blames Failure Of 'Elite'

'Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship'

09/11/2016 09:52 | Updated 09 November 2016

Theresa May has congratulated Donald Trump on his surprise victory in the US presidential election.

And Jeremy Corbyn has said Trump’s election is the “unmistakable rejection of a political establishment”.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the prime minister said she would work with the new president to “ensure the security and prosperity” United Kingdom and the United States.

“I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next President of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign,” she said.

“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise.

“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

Corbyn said in a statement:

“Many in Britain and elsewhere will be understandably shocked by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the rhetoric around it and what the election result means for the rest of the world, as well as America.

‘Trump’s election is an unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn’t working for most people. It is one that has delivered escalating inequality and stagnating or falling living standards for the majority, both in the US and Britain.

‘This is a rejection of a failed economic consensus and a governing elite that has been seen not to have listened. And the public anger that has propelled Donald Trump to office has been reflected in political upheavals across the world.

“But some of Trump’s answers to the big questions facing America, and the divisive rhetoric around them, are clearly wrong.

“I have no doubt, however, that the decency and common sense of the American people will prevail, and we send our solidarity to a nation of migrants, innovators and democrats. After this latest global wake up call, the need for a real alternative to a failed economic and political system could not be clearer.

“That alternative must be based on working together, social justice and economic renewal, rather than sowing fear and division. And the solutions we offer have to improve the lives of everyone, not pit one group of people against another.

“Americans have made their choice. The urgent necessity is now for us all to work across continents to tackle our common global challenges: to secure peace, take action on climate change and deliver economic prosperity and justice.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s “congratulations” to Trump is in sharp contrast to December 2015, when he said: “The only reason I wouldn’t visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”

May has previously criticised Trump and said his claim parts of London were so radicalised that the police were too afraid to walk the streets was “nonsense”. As home secretary, May also attacked Trump’s plan to ban all Muslims from the US.

“I think we all agree that the comments Donald Trump made in relation to Muslims were divisive, unhelpful and wrong,” she said in December.

However as the election has drew closer, May became much less hostile to Trump than David Cameron was when he was prime minister. Cameron slammed the Republican candidate as “divisive” “stupid” and “wrong”.

Given Trump’s desire to connect his election victory to the Brext result, the British politician with the closest relationship to the new president is arguably Nigel Farage.

Not all British politicians congratulated Trump. Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the result was one of “great sadness”.

“While we must all respect the result of this democratic contest, today is a dark day for those of us who believe in compassion, tolerance and equality,” she said.

“Donald Trump was responsible for a hate-filled campaign that was dominated by lies, misogyny and racism. As president-elect, he now has a responsibility to America and the world to heal the deep divisions he has caused.

“Across the US, there will be women, gay people and Muslims who will now be incredibly worried about the direction of their country, but there will also be countless working-class Americans who will be hurting today. They all need reassurances that I very much hope will be forthcoming from the Republican Party.

“But the United States and Scotland share a rich history and friendship between our people. That will not be swept away by one election result.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said “liberal values of moderation, freedom, respect for the rule of law, openness and concern for one another can no longer be taken for granted. In the United States last night, those values were defeated.

“But those values are vital if we are to live together in peace, prosperity and freedom.  

“Those of us who care passionately for those liberal values need to fight for them, to win the arguments, to inspire new generations to the great and historic cause of liberalism. Never in my lifetime have those liberal values been so under threat, and never have they been more relevant and necessary.

“There is nothing inevitable about the rise of nationalism, protectionism  and division, Justin Trudeau proves that. I am determined that together, we must make it our mission to build that liberal cause. The alternatives are unthinkable.”

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