Johnson to meet Biden on Thursday – but don’t mention the special relationship

·2-min read

Boris Johnson will meet US President Joe Biden face to face this week, but is unlikely to highlight the strength of the “special relationship” because the Prime Minister does not like the expression.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson “prefers not to use the phrase” but is instead intent on fostering a “close relationship” with Washington.

A profile of the Prime Minister in American magazine The Atlantic suggests he told aides he does not like using the term because it seems “needy and weak”.

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The White House has said Mr Biden, on his first overseas trip as president, will meet Mr Johnson for talks on Thursday, ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall which begins on Friday.

Perhaps unaware of the Prime Minister’s dislike of the term, the White House said the visit will “affirm the enduring strength of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom”.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The PM prefers not to use the phrase but that doesn’t detract from the importance with which he regards our relationship with the US.”

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Mr Biden will join leaders from the other members of the G7 group of leading economies in Cornwall for Friday’s summit.

With the prospect of demonstrations around the Carbis Bay event, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Whilst we support people’s right to protest within the law, this is an important meeting that will focus on a number of the public’s priorities – be it climate change or tackling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

The event will also bring “tangible benefits” for those living locally, with a £50 million estimated boost for the economy.

Mr Johnson will use the summit to urge leaders from the G7 – the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy – to defeat Covid-19 by providing vaccines for the world by the end of next year.

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