Biden snubs Johnson in UK comments
The White House on Thursday issued a statement about the importance of the US-UK alliance in supporting Ukraine, in response to news from London that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had resigned as leader of the Conservative party and would vacate 10 Downing Street once his replacement was named. President Joe Biden did not even mention Johnson by name.
“The United Kingdom and the United States are the closest of friends and Allies, and the special relationship between our people remains strong and enduring,” said the statement, first published by CBS News.
“I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the government of the United Kingdom, as well as our Allies and partners around the world, on a range of important priorities. That includes maintaining a strong and united approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s brutal war on their democracy, and holding Russia accountable for its actions,” said the statement, attributed to Biden. As of 6pm on Thursday, it had not been posted to the White House website.
Biden himself told CNN that he had no further comment on Johnson’s resignation, when asked about it following the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Thursday afternoon.
“No, it’s a part of the process,” said the US leader.
The New York Post called Biden’s statement a “snub” of Johnson, pointing out that previous US presidents traditionally commented on the resignations of British prime ministers’ with a kind word for them personally.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, by contrast, said all his countrymen were “saddened” by the news of “friend Boris Johnson” resigning as the party leader, while also thanking the UK for its help and support.
Johnson led the Tories to a historic election victory in 2019 and successfully took the UK out of the EU. Amid the rising cost of living and historic inflation, the party turned on him last month, ostensibly over the Partygate scandal involving violations of Covid-19 lockdowns.
While Johnson easily survived the June 6 no-confidence vote, he gave in on Thursday after more than 50 government officials, including cabinet ministers, resigned on him. He will remain the caretaker PM until the Tories can name a replacement.