Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Desperate Boris' First Priority Is to Rekindle a Special Relationship; (but Trump's Not Looking for Anything Serious Right Now) Stateside with US Editor Christopher Bucktin

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Desperate Boris' First Priority Is to Rekindle a Special Relationship; (but Trump's Not Looking for Anything Serious Right Now) Stateside with US Editor Christopher Bucktin

Article excerpt

WHEN Boris Johnson clocks in today for his first full day at Number 10, he will face an overflowing in-tray of daunting problems that need urgent attention.

With Britain in the throes of its biggest political crisis since World War II, they will include Brexit, the ongoing troubles with Iran, rebels in Parliament and ministerial resignations, as well as a raft of domestic issues ranging from healthcare to crime.

Oh, and Donald Trump. The postwar "special relationship" has had a rocky couple of years under the American president and, given the new prime minister's handling of the recent furore involving our man in Washington, the British ambassador to the US, we can but hope Bojo does not become Trump's bozo.

After Sir Kim Darroch's description of the US leader as "insecure" and his administration as "inept" and "dysfunctional" were famously leaked, Johnson's failure to back the diplomat was the overriding factor in him resigning his post.

It begged the question, where do the new prime minister's loyalties lie - to his diplomats or a despot? It was a worrying move on the part of Johnson, who when it comes to global affairs doesn't have the best track record of statesmanship, as evidenced during his dismal spell as foreign secretary.

He does seem to have understood, though, that once he has taken Britain out of the EU, the goodwill of a fickle US president will be crucial.

With their ridiculous hair and populist politics, the two men are often likened to each other. In the Tory leadership race, the president backed Johnson from the off.

Just hours after he was anointed on Tuesday, the president endorsed Theresa May's successor further, calling him "Britain Trump".

He said of Johnson: "They have a really good man who is going to be the prime minister of the UK now.

"Boris Johnson. A good man. He's tough, and he's smart. …

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