July 24, 2019 07:06:01
Donald Trump has heaped praise on the United Kingdom’s next prime minister Boris Johnson, labelling him “Britain Trump”.
- Tory rank-and-file party members have picked Boris Johnson as their new leader
- The former mayor of London will tell the Queen he can form government on Wednesday
- He inherits from Theresa May a political crisis over how to withdraw the UK from the EU
The US President made the remarks hours after Mr Johnson defeated Jeremy Hunt in a ballot for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
The result of the leadership contest was announced at a party meeting in London with Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt sitting in the front row, where it was announced that he won with 66 per cent of the vote.
After the announcement Mr Johnson said he would deliver on his campaign mantra: “Deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat [Opposition Leader] Jeremy Corbyn.”
Mr Trump said Mr Johnson was a “good man” who was “tough and smart”.
“We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson,” Mr Trump said.
“They’re saying ‘Britain Trump’, they call him Britain Trump and people are saying that’s a good thing.
“They like me over there, that’s what they wanted, that’s what they need.
“He’ll get it done, Boris is good, he’s going to do a good job.”
Mr Trump and Mr Johnson are good friends and Mr Trump has previously made no secret of his desire to see Mr Johnson in the top job.
On Wednesday afternoon (UK time) Mr Johnson will have an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, after his predecessor Theresa May tenders her resignation in the morning.
Following Mrs May’s resignation, Mr Johnson is then expected to make a televised address to the nation outside his new residence, Number 10 Downing Street, and later announce his cabinet.
Leave campaigner Johnson inherits prolonged Brexit
The Tory leadership campaign was dominated by debate over how to withdraw the UK from the European Union.
As the Brexit referendum was getting underway, Mr Johnson embraced the Leave campaign in 2016.
“I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money and to take control,” he said at the time.
In 2018, Mr Johnson resigned from Mrs May’s cabinet after he claimed she was leading the UK into a “semi-Brexit” with the “status of a colony.”
Mr Johnson has said he is determined to take the UK out by the October 31 deadline — even if a deal with Europe is not in place.
He has also ruled out the possibility of a second referendum on EU membership as a “very bad idea.”
Mrs May’s deal was rejected three times by parliament, and MPs have also rejected the possibility of a hard exit.
Mr Johnson said he would continue to pursue an agreement with EU negotiators, but would also ramp up preparations in case a deal could not be reached.
“We will of course be pushing our plan into action, and getting ready to come out on October 31, come what may. Do or die, come what may,” he said last month.
A hard Brexit would see the world’s fifth-largest economy crash out of the bloc. But Mr Johnson later said a no-deal Brexit was highly unlikely.
“I don’t think that’s where we’re going to end up. I think it’s a million to one against, but it is vital that we prepare,” he said.
Ministers jump ship rather than work with PM Boris
While his ascension to party leader has been a relatively smooth affair, Mr Johnson can expect a tougher time from his political rivals inside and outside of the Conservative Party as prime minister.
Several cabinet ministers have already resigned rather than face the prospect of serving under Mr Johnson.
Junior foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan resigned overnight, saying he doubted Mr Johnson’s ability to command the support of a majority of MPs.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Labour Party would table a no confidence motion “when appropriate to do so” and said he will continue to push for a general election.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she has “profound concerns” about him in the role.
However, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party — which holds the balance of power in the House of Commons — has said it will continue to support the Conservative government with Mr Johnson at the helm.
Mr Johnson received congratulations from an unusual quarter. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted: “I congratulate my former counterpart, @BorisJohnson on becoming UK PM”.
July 23, 2019 21:06:33