UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will keep public appearances with US President Donald Trump, who is heading to London next week for a NATO summit, at a minimum over concerns that it could impact the Conservatives’ positions ahead of the crucial general election, The Times reports.
His visit will start on 2 December and will last three days, ending a week before the vote, which will decide the future of Brexit. While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is said to be planning to “weaponise” his visit, playing up plans to sell the National Health Service under a post-Brexit deal with Washington, his rival Johnson earlier pleaded for Trump not to get involved in Britain’s upcoming election during his stay.
“What we don't do traditionally as loving allies and friends, what we don't do traditionally, is get involved in each other's election campaigns”, Johnson told LBC radio, as cited by the media outlet.
He also added: “The best [thing] when you have close friends and allies like the US and the UK is for neither side to get involved in each other's election”.
Reports by Bloomberg earlier indicated that several UK officials are worried that the US president could damage the Conservatives’ election campaign with his “off script” and “ill-judged comments” during the NATO summit and are therefore taking steps to “minimise the risk”. However, no specific details were provided.
Donald Trump has been vocal about his support of Boris Johnson, as well as Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
"I like 'em both. Look, I think Boris is the right man for the times... He's a great gentleman. He's a wonderful guy... What I'd like to see is for Nigel and Boris to come together. I think that's a possibility", the president said.
Trump repeated his call for the two British politicians to come together, insisting that the two men could be "an unstoppable force". Before that, he also praised the United Kingdom's trade with the US, saying that it could be substantially stronger following Brexit.