Trump victory could bolster Britain's 'special relationship' with US, says Iain Duncan Smith

The former Tory leader urged Britain not to indulge in an 'orgy of complaint' over the Republican billionaire's surprise election win

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Britain should not indulge in an “orgy of complaint” over Donald Trump's victory but instead engage with the United States president-elect, Iain Duncan Smith has said.

The former Tory leader said the UK is uniquely placed after Brexit to understand the concerns of Mr Trump's anti-establishment supporters on issues like immigration and should seize the opportunity for a tighter “special relationship”.

He criticised “lame duck” president Barack Obama, who will hand over power in January, for treating Britain no differently to other European powers and said his exit from office provides new opportunities.

Mr Trump will need allies as he forges a new role for America in the world and Prime Minister Theresa May should take advantage of that, he said.

The Tory MP stressed that one of her priorities should be keeping the US in Nato by persuading other countries in the alliance to contribute more in defence spending.

Writing for ConservativeHome, Mr Duncan Smith said: “In the UK, we have a choice. We can, like so many others, indulge ourselves in an orgy of complaint about the result - we have already seen that kind of behaviour over the Brexit result. Or we can choose to engage with the new administration in a positive way.”

He went on: “I am old enough to recall the way that the special relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War and brought prosperity to countless people around the globe.

“Whilst there are of course great differences between May and Trump personally, the need for a strong America and a strong UK working together is as vital today as it has ever been.

“The wind of change is blowing through more than just the USA and the UK. Yet I am certain of this: when our two nations are together the world is a safer place.”

PA

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