Cameron congratulates victorious Obama

By Alex Stevenson

David Cameron has joined a host of international leaders in congratulating Barack Obama on his election victory over Mitt Romney.

The British prime minister, speaking from Jordan on the final day of a three-day visit to the Middle East, had been careful to reserve his views in case of a win for the Republican challenger.

But once Romney had given his concession speech, Cameron took to Twitter to offer "warm congratulations to my friend".

"I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years," the prime minister said later.

"There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal."

Cameron said he had been hearing "appalling stories" about the situation in Syria during his visit to Jordan.

He said one of his first priorities in resuming his relationship with Obama would be to discuss "how we must do more to try and solve this crisis".

The prime minister added: "Above all, congratulations to Barack. I've enjoyed working with him, I think he's a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future."

Pundits had continued to predict a Romney victory until polling closed yesterday, but enthusiastic voting among Hispanic Americans and an effective get-out-the-vote campaign by Democrat supporters helped push Obama over the line in a series of crunch swing states.

Obama's ability to stay in office despite a struggling economy may also prove heartening to the coalition, which is unlikely to be presiding over a booming economy when Britain's own general election arrives in May 2015.

American politics will now focus on a period of rebuilding for the Republicans, as Obama renews a bipartisan push which he said in his victory speech was aimed at meeting "the challenges we can only solve together".

"With your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead," the re-elected president told Democrat supporters in Chicago this morning.

"Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours."