UK Politics

Boris Johnson 'positive' about Trump victory

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBoris Johnson: There’s a lot to be positive about on Donald Trump

Boris Johnson says there is "a lot to be positive about" following Donald Trump's US election victory.

The foreign secretary, who has previously accused Mr Trump of "stupefying ignorance" over some of his campaign comments, urged people not to "pre-judge" the president-elect.

He said Mr Trump was a "deal-maker", saying this could be good for the UK.

Downing Street said the relationship between Mr Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May was "working well".

Several UK politicians criticised Mr Trump during the US election campaign, including his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

In December Mr Johnson said Mr Trump was "clearly out of his mind" if he thought the Muslim ban was a good idea, accusing him of "playing the game of the terrorists and those who seek to divide us".

He also attacked Mr Trump for suggesting police were afraid to visit some parts of London because of radicalisation, saying: "I think he's betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of President of the United States."

He added: "The only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."

But speaking to reporters as he arrived in Brussels for a meeting with counterparts on Monday, Mr Johnson said: "I think there's a lot to be positive about. It's very important not to prejudge the president-elect or his administration.

"It's only a few days since the election has taken place. I think we all need to wait and see what they come up with but I think we should regard it as a moment of opportunity."

Mr Johnson said people who have not felt listened to are "starting to make their voices heard", adding: "It is up to us, up to everybody, to listen to them and to take things forward in a positive way.

"Donald Trump, as I've said before, is a deal maker and I think that could be a good thing for Britain, but it can also a good thing for Europe. I think that's what we need to focus on today."

'Warm' tone

On Monday evening Prime Minister Theresa May will say "change is in the air" following Mr Trump's victory.

In a speech in the City of London, Mrs May will say the UK has a "historic global opportunity" to provide leadership to the world and become a champion of free trade.

In her first foreign policy speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet in the City of London, she will also say more needs to be done to ensure communities are not left behind by the forces of globalisation.

Mrs May will say leaving the EU shows "how a free, flexible, ambitious country can step up to a new global role".

Image copyright @Nigel_Farage
Image caption The president-elect welcomed the UKIP leader at Trump Tower

Meanwhile Downing Street has rejected suggestions UKIP acting leader Nigel Farage - who became the first UK politician to meet Mr Trump - could be given a liaison role with the president-elect.

Mrs May's spokeswoman told reporters there were "well-established channels" between the president of the United States and the prime minister and that the intention was to continue with that route.

The relationship between Mr Trump and the PM was "working well" following an initial phone call that was "very warm in tone", she added.

Former Conservative defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth said it was "not sensible" to ignore Mr Farage.

"We live in very unconventional times politically at the moment and we need to think out of the box," he told BBC Radio 4's The World At One.