Johnson says US getting ‘better and better’

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Visiting Washington for the first time after Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump in the White House, Boris Johnson said the US had been getting “better and better” since his last visit.

The Prime Minister met politicians from across the divide on Tuesday during a visit to the Capitol, which was the scene of an insurrection inspired by Mr Trump in January.

The morning after his meeting with Mr Biden in the Oval Office, Mr Johnson was greeted by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, and was shown a picture of Sir Winston Churchill addressing Congress as prime minister in 1941, a few weeks after Pearl Harbour.

The Prime Minister was warmed by the Democrat telling him her father, the late congressman Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, could be seen in the picture witnessing the address.

Boris Johnson meets Nancy Pelosi
Boris Johnson meets Nancy Pelosi (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Johnson discussed the importance of standing up for democracy in a time when some are rejecting it.

“It’s vital for the world that America stands up for that principle in the way that the US government does,” Mr Johnson told Ms Pelosi.

“I just want you to know we stand by you, shoulder-to-shoulder with you, in sticking up for our values, our beliefs in democracy, in sticking up for parliaments and assemblies around the world.”

Asked what was the biggest difference in the US this visit, as he walked off with Ms Pelosi, Mr Johnson told reporters: “It’s getting better and better.”

Before being greeted in the House of Representatives by Ms Pelosi, Mr Johnson had visited the US senate on the other side of the Capitol.

He sat down with senators including Chuck Schumer, the Democrat who is senate majority leader, and Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader.

Gesturing towards senator Shelley Moore Capito, he said: “On your question about the royal family, I get a free pass on that one, I have a total get out of jail free card as prime minister, I never say anything about the royal family.”

The contents of the question posed before the brief window when reporters were allowed in the meeting were unclear.

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