2 hours ago
- From the sectionUK Politics
US Vice President-elect Mike Pence called Boris Johnson on Thursday night, the BBC understands.
Sources close to the UK foreign secretary said the two men had spoken at about 2100 GMT for ten minutes about building a strong UK/US relationship.
The BBC understands it was Mr Pence’s first call to an overseas politician.
On Thursday Mr Johnson said critics of Mr Trump’s victory should end the ”collective whinge-o-rama” and be positive about the possibilities.
Mr Johnson, who last year suggested that Mr Trump had been ”out of his mind” for suggesting a ban on Muslims entering the US, has insisted the UK should be optimistic about the future following Mr Trump’s victory.
At a press conference on Thursday, before speaking to Mr Pence, he said it was time to be ”overwhelmingly positive about the possibilities” of a Donald Trump presidency and described the US president-elect as a ”deal maker”.
”I believe that this is a great opportunity for us in the UK to build on that relationship with America that is of fundamental economic importance to us, but also, great importance for the stability and prosperity of the world,” Mr Johnson said.
”I would respectfully say to my beloved European friends and colleagues that it’s time that we snapped out of the general doom and gloom about the result of this election and collective ‘whinge-o-rama’ that seems to be going on in some places.”
Meanwhile Downing Street has rejected claims that ministers will be forced to use UKIP leader Nigel Farage as a ”go-between” with the new Trump administration.
The Daily Telegraph reported ministers would have to seek the advice of UKIP’s interim leader because they have no links to the president-elect.
But sources close to the prime minister told the BBC that Mr Trump, who defeated Hillary Clinton in a huge upset, favoured a relationship with Theresa May as close as that of former UK and US leaders Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
Mr Trump invited Mrs May to visit Washington during a phone call on Thursday in which both stressed the importance of UK/US relations.
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson says Downing Street has been ”hugely irritated” with the claim ministers were seeking the services of Mr Farage in forging links with the Trump administration.
”The story is politically important because Mrs May does not want to give UKIP an opportunity to bask in the ‘reflected glory’ of a Trump victory,” he adds.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has also insisted he has no intention of using Mr Farage as a go-between.
However, BBC Newsnight’s political editor Nicholas Watt says Mr Fox has the best connections in Westminster with established Republicans but has never met Mr Trump.
He says it would not be a surprise if Mr Fox and Mr Farage had an informal conversation before the minister contacts Mr Trump’s team.
A source close to Mr Farage made it clear that he had no intention of working with Conservative ministers.
Meanwhile, senior Conservatives have been swift to strike a more emollient tone towards Mr Trump since Tuesday’s election.