Prime minister Boris Johnson has offered Joe Biden his congratulations on being elected president of the United States.
In a message on Twitter which signalled that he was not lining up with Donald Trump’s claim that the election was not yet over, Mr Johnson said he looked forward to working with the president-elect on shared priorities like climate change trade and security.
The PM held back for almost 90 minutes after TV networks in the US called the election for Biden, while other UK politicians rushed to offer Biden their best wishes.
First to react were Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who issued messages hailing Biden’s victory within minutes of the election being called.
Mr Johnson said: “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.”
Starmer said that Biden’s triumph was a victory “for hope and unity over dishonesty and division” which gave the US an opportunity to reassert its place as “a force for good on the world stage”.
“He ran a campaign on the values that we in the United Kingdom share - decency, integrity, compassion and strength,” said Sir Keri.
“And I want to congratulate Kamala Harris on being elected vice-president, the first woman of colour, to take that role.
“Their victory is one for hope and unity over dishonesty and division. Millions of Americans of all backgrounds and ages have come together to vote for a better, more optimistic future.”
The Labour leader added: “This is also an important moment for the world.
“It is a chance to reassert America’s place as a force for good on the world stage. A nation that will work with Britain and other allies to defeat this pandemic and fight climate change.
“Joe Biden and the Democrats have always shared Labour’s values and the links between our two parties remain strong. I am looking forward to building on this and forging an even stronger relationship between the UK and the USA.”
Ms Sturgeon said that the election of Biden’s running-mate Kamala Harris as the USA’s first female and first ethnic minority vice president-elect was “history-making”.
In a tweet, Ms Sturgeon said: “Congratulations from Scotland to president-elect Joe Biden and to history-making vice president-elect Kamala Harris
“The first woman in the White House - and the first woman of colour too. This is a big and special moment.”
A jubilant Green Party co-leader Sian Berry said she was celebrating “good riddance” to Trump.
“At last! Huge congratulations and respect to Biden, Harris and their teams,” said Ms Berry.
“And good riddance Trump you racist, sexist, tyrannical nightmare. To a better world ahead!”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. A great victory for social justice, climate action and democracy.”
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