Theresa May: Britain will remain “strong” US partners

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Getty
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Getty
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Prime Minister Theresa May has congratulated Donald Trump on his election as US president and said Britain and America will remain “strong and close partners”.

Mrs May’s response was released in a statement by Downing Street around 90 minutes after Mr Trump made his speech accepting victory over Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump. Picture: PA

Donald Trump. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister said on Tuesday that she aims to speak with the president-elect “at the earliest possible opportunity” to discuss the “special relationship” between the US and the UK.

In her statement, Mrs May said: “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next president of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign.

“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise.

“We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.

Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defence.

Theresa May

“I look forward to working with president-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

Mrs May has been careful throughout the presidential election campaign not to express a preference for either candidate, insisting the choice was for the American people to make.

Mr Trump’s triumph could result in some awkward diplomatic moments for the Prime Minister and some of her senior ministers who have made disobliging comments about the President-elect in the past.

As home secretary, Mrs May told a parliamentary committee that Mr Trump “does not understand the UK and what happens in the UK”.

Her comments came in December last year amid calls for the then frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination to be banned from coming to the UK over his call for Muslims to be blocked from entering the US.

Mrs May told the Home Affairs Select Committee that Mr Trump’s comments about Muslims were “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”.

She said he was “absolutely wrong” to claim that parts of Britain were no-go areas to the police because of their predominantly Muslim population, adding: “I think it was nonsense ... I just think it shows he does not understand the UK and what happens in the UK.”

The then Mayor of London Boris Johnson said in December that Mr Trump’s comments were “ill-informed... complete and utter nonsense ... simply ridiculous”.

“The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump,” said Mr Johnson, who is now Foreign Secretary.

Mrs May’s predecessor David Cameron told the House of Commons last year that Mr Trump’s remarks were “divisive, stupid and wrong”, adding: “I think if he came to visit our country I think it’d unite us all against him.”

His comments prompted Mr Trump to say that he might not have “a very good relationship” with Mr Cameron if he was still in Number 10 when he reached the White House.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Liberal values of moderation, freedom, respect for the rule of law, openness and concern for one another can no longer be taken for granted.

“In the United States last night, those values were defeated.”

Mr Johnson said: “I believe passionately in the importance of the UK-US relationship and am confident we can take it forward together.”

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