Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson referred to President Donald Trump as “the previous president” during a meeting in the U.K.’s House of Commons on Wednesday. Johnson’s remarks come as several U.S. news outlets called the 2020 election for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while Trump has not conceded and continues to raise new lawsuits about the election results.
Johnson made his remarks in response to a U.K. lawmaker who questioned whether Johnson 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.”
Johnson, responding to the comments said, “Well Mr. Speaker, I had and have a good relationship with the previous president. I do not resile from that. This is the duty of all British prime ministers, to have a good relationship with the White House.”
Johnson went on to say, “I’m delighted to find the many areas in which the incoming Biden-Harris administration is able to make common cause with us.”
Johnson said, in particular, said he spoke to “President-elect Biden” about an upcoming climate change conference, known as COP 26.
Johnson was among several world leaders to congratulate Biden after media outlets called the race in his favor.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris,” Johnson tweeted Saturday.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 7, 2020
Johnson’s tweet also included a statement, “Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement. The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Other world leaders have signaled they will wait until the U.S. election and ensuing legal actions and recounts are concluded before congratulating a winner. Those leaders holding out congratulations include Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Russian President Vladimir, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodağan had previously held out congratulating Biden but on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Erdogan also sent a statement to Trump in which he said, “No matter how the official election results manifest, I thank you for the sincere and determined vision you have put forth for Turkey-U.S. relations to develop on the basis of our mutual interests and values during your presidency in the last four years.”
Trump’s campaign team has filed lawsuits in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, alleging a range of illegal vote counting and ballot counting errors. The state of Georgia, on Wednesday also ordered a hand recount of the presidential election.