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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

'They call him Britain Trump': US president congratulates Boris Johnson on being elected

Johnson was elected the new Conservative Party leader earlier today by 92,153 votes to 46,656.

US President Donald Trump and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson
US President Donald Trump and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson
Image: PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has congratulated Boris Johnson on being elected as the leader of the UK’s Conservative Party, as he says people call him “Britain Trump”. 

Johnson was elected earlier today by 92,153 votes to 46,656, securing support from 66.4% of the party members who voted.

Some 87.4% of the eligible 159,320 members cast a vote in the leadership contest. 

“Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!” Trump tweeted.

Trump has declared himself a big fan of Johnson.

Speaking this afternoon, Trump said Johnson is “tough” and “smart”. 

“We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson. Good man. He’s tough, and he’s smart,” Trump said.

They’re saying ‘Britain Trump’. They call him Britain Trump and people are saying that’s a good thing. They like me over there, that’s what they wanted. That’s what they need.

“He’ll get it done, Boris is good, he’s going to do a good job,” he said. 

Johnson was the frontrunner from the outset to take the premiership after Theresa May announced she would resign from her role as party leader and British prime minister from 7 June. 

She remained in a caretaker role until the new prime minister was chosen but will formally give up the position to Johnson tomorrow. 

Last week, the US president predicted Johnson would fix what Trump called the “disaster” that May had triggered in trying to lead Britain out of the EU.

“He’s a different kind of a guy, but they say I’m a different kind of a guy too. We get along well. I think we’ll have a very good relationship,” Trump told reporters.

Johnson will travel to Buckingham Palace tomorrow where he will formally be asked to form a government by Queen Elizabeth.

At the same time, May will travel to the palace to hand in her resignation. 

Although there is much work still to be done on Brexit, Johnson will have six weeks to settle into Downing Street, as parliament goes into recess for the summer break. 

It is due to return on the 3 September when MPs will once again continue to debate the UK’s divorce from the EU.

With reporting by Conor McCrave and © AFP 2019  

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