Boris Johnson scored a small diplomatic victory when he became the first European leader to speak to the new president of the United State on Saturday evening.
Even more reassuring for Johnson, a statement from the White House released after the call said Biden “conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship”.
It added: “President Biden also noted the importance of cooperation, including through multilateral organisations, on shared challenges such as combatting climate change, containing Covid-19, and ensuring global health security.
“He noted his readiness to work closely with prime minister Johnson as the United Kingdom hosts the G-7 and United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this year.
“The leaders also discussed the need for coordination on shared foreign policy priorities, including China, Iran, and Russia.”
A Downing Street spokesman said the PM congratulated Biden on his inauguration, and warmly welcomed his decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and the World Health Organisation – both abandoned by Donald Trump.
They also said the potential benefits of a post-Brexit free trade deal were also discussed in the call but the White House made no mention of it.
Following the call, Johnson tweeted: “Great to speak to President Joe Biden this evening.
“I look forward to deepening the long-standing alliance between our two countries as we drive a green and sustainable recovery from Covid19.”
It is reported Johnson is the first European leader to have spoken to the new president, after he had calls on Friday with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Following Biden’s inauguration this week, No 10 sought to play down Biden’s decision to remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office – even though Johnson had criticised Obama when he did the same thing.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “The Oval Office is the president’s private office and it’s up to the president to decorate it as he wishes.
“We’re in no doubt of the importance that President Biden places on the UK and US relationship and the prime minister looks forward to having a close relationship with him.”