Boris Johnson calls Trump the 'previous president' after an 'extremely exciting' conversation with Joe Biden

  • Boris Johnson calls Donald Trump the "previous president" as he lavishes praise on Joe Biden, following his "extremely exciting" phone call with the President-elect.
  • The UK prime minister on Wednesday said it was "refreshing" to hear Biden defend global institutions.
  • A tweet sent by Johnson congratulating Biden for winning the election was revealed on Tuesday to contain elements of a previously-drafted message congratulating Trump instead.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday labeled Donald Trump the "previous president" as he lavished praise on Joe Biden after their first call together since the President-elect's election victory.

Johnson, who has until now been a strong ally of Trump, on Wednesday told Members of Parliament about an "excellent conversation" he had with President-elect Biden on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Johnson said it was "refreshing" to hear Biden speak in defence of international institutions, in an apparent swipe at Trump's aversion to international organisations such as NATO and the World Health Organisation.

He said: "One of the many merits of the excellent conversation I had yesterday with President-elect Joe Biden was that we strongly agreed on the need for the United Kingdom and the United States to stand together, to stick up for our values around the world, to stick up for human rights, to stick up for free trade, to stick up for NATO, Mr Speaker, and to work together in the fight against climate change.

"It was refreshing, I may say, to have that conversation and I look forward to many more."

Johnson was then asked by Labour Member of Parliament Angela Eagle whether he had "any advice for his erstwhile best friend, President Trump," whose "continuing refusal to accept the result is both embarrassing for him and dangerous for American democracy."

In response, the smiling UK prime minister said: "I had and have a good relationship with the previous president and I do not resile from that. It's the duty of all British prime ministers to have a good relationship with the White House.

"I'm delighted to find the many areas on which the incoming Biden-Harris administration is able to make common cause with us — in particular, it was extremely exciting to talk to President-elect Biden about what he wants to do with the COP26 summit next year."

Johnson was among several world leaders who President-elect Biden spoke to on Tuesday as he prepares to move into the White House in January.

A Downing Street spokesperson said that the UK prime minister "warmly congratulated Joe Biden on his election" and "conveyed his congratulations to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement."

The pair discussed fighting the coronavirus and climate change, according the Downing Street spokesperson, with Johnson inviting Biden to the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland next year.

There was intense media attention on when Biden would first call Johnson amid reports that the President-elect and his team take issue with the the UK prime minister over Brexit and his history of controversial remarks, like in 2016 when he said Barack Obama's "part-Kenyan" ancestry meant he disliked Britain.

The call came after a tweet sent by Johnson congratulating Biden for winning the election was revealed on Tuesday to contain elements of a previously-drafted message congratulating Trump instead.

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