Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
9 November 2020

Why Joe Biden’s US election victory is good news for Boris Johnson

The president-elect is far more aligned with Johnson on issues such as climate change than Donald Trump. 

By Stephen Bush

Joe Biden has won the US presidential election, finishing a clear winner both in the electoral college and the popular vote. For all Donald Trump’s fulminations about fraud, the achingly slow declaration of results has complicated his argument  does he want counting to stop? To start again? It depends on the state.

Trump’s hope of suing his way out of electoral loss is slim as congratulatory messages flow in from world leaders across the globe, including our own Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. But the reaction to Johnson’s congratulatory tweet   one Barack Obama alum previously dubbed him a “shapeshifting creep” – underlines the difficult personal dynamic of the Biden-Johnson environment.

Among the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Brexit and Trump are two peas in a pod, and they have neither forgiven nor forgotten Johnson’s inexcusable comment that the “part-Kenyan” Obama harboured an “ancestral dislike” of the United Kingdom.

The reality though, is that the Johnson premiership doesn’t need a warm relationship with a president-elect Biden. The mere fact of a president who believes in Nato, who isn’t an opponent of multilateralism, who doesn’t regard trade negotiations as zero-sum games, and, most importantly, believes that climate change is a real and all-encompassing threat to our collective future is a boost for the policy aims and objectives of Johnson’s government  in addition to being a cause for celebration on its own terms, here and everywhere. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
The truth about employability
Why we need a Minister for Citizen Experience
Powering careers that secure our net zero future