Boris Johnson: Biden inauguration 'step forward' for US after 'bumpy period'

20 January 2021, 19:18 | Updated: 20 January 2021, 19:22

By Megan White

Boris Johnson said the inauguration of Joe Biden was a "step forward" for the US after a "bumpy period".

Mr Johnson, who had a close but sometimes difficult relationship with Donald Trump, said it was a "big moment" for the UK-US relationship.

The Prime Minister tweeted his "congratulations" to Mr Biden on being sworn in as well as to Ms Harris "on her historic inauguration".

Joe Biden says 'democracy has prevailed' after being sworn in as President

He told reporters: "When you look at the issues that unite me and Joe Biden, the UK and the United States right now, there's a fantastic joint common agenda.

"I really congratulate Joe and Kamala Harris on their achievement, on their inauguration today.

"It's a fantastic thing for America, a step forward for the country that has been through a bumpy period.

"And for us and America it's a big moment."

Asked if he thought US president Joe Biden is "woke," Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the media: "I can't comment on that. What I know is that he's a firm believer in the transatlantic alliance and that's a great thing.

"And a believer in a lot of the things that we want to achieve together."

Mr Johnson said: "There's nothing wrong with being woke," adding: "I put myself in the category of people who believe that it's important to stick up for your history, your traditions and your values, the things you believe in."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "The US begins a new chapter in its history, one of hope, decency, compassion and strength. Together, our two nations can build a better, more optimistic future for our world."

The Queen sent a private message to Mr Biden before he was sworn into office, Buckingham Palace said.

The PM has said he looks forward to welcoming Mr Biden this year to the G7 summit in Cornwall and the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

Mr Biden will on his first day issue a series of executive actions as he begins overturning some of his predecessor's legacy.

In actions that will be welcomed by Mr Johnson, the president will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organisation.