UK politicians congratulate Joe Biden on White House victory

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has led the UK political reaction to Joe Biden being elected the 46th president of the United States.

The former vice president was called as the winner of Pennsylvania and Nevada on Saturday, giving him an insurmountable lead in the race for the White House against incumbent Donald Trump.

Labour leader Sir Keir congratulated president-elect Mr Biden, praising his campaign for “decency, integrity, compassion and strength”, and predicted the win would see the US play a more central role on the world stage once again.

“Their victory is one for hope and unity over dishonesty and division,” he said in a statement.

“Millions of Americans of all backgrounds and ages have come together to vote for a better, more optimistic future.”

Sir Keir said he thought that under Mr Biden’s leadership, the US would be a “nation that will work with Britain and other allies to defeat this pandemic and fight climate change”.

“I am looking forward to building on this and forging an even stronger relationship between the UK and the USA,” he said.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford congratulated Mr Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, who is set to be the first female vice president, on their election victory, saying it “gives great hope to progressives here in Scotland and around the world”.

He called on Boris Johnson to “reflect” on his own style of politics following President Trump’s projected defeat.

In a series of tweets, Mr Blackford said: “The Prime Minister must arrange an early call with President-elect Biden to officially acknowledge this result and congratulate him on an historic achievement.

“In the UK, Boris Johnson must reflect on his own reputation as ‘Britain Trump’.

“His extreme Brexit policies, and decision to align himself so closely with the narrow politics of Donald Trump have left the Tory Prime Minister increasingly isolated on the world stage.”

First ministers of Scotland and Wales respectively, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, also tweeted their congratulations.

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “We welcome Joe Biden’s commitment to immediately sign the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The world is counting on him to urgently pivot the USA to a trajectory of net-zero carbon emissions and ecological sustainability.”

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