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U.K. Leaders Have Mixed Feelings About Donald Trump’s Presidency

The UK Reacts To News That Donald Trump Is The New President Of The United StatesThe UK Reacts To News That Donald Trump Is The New President Of The United States
A copy of London's Evening Standard newspaper after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election.Photo by Carl Court—Getty Images

Donald Trump shocked the world on Wednesday morning when he won the U.S. presidential election. And as one of the country’s closest allies, the U.K. promptly weighed in.

Prime Minister Theresa May congratulated Trump, while other British leaders had stern words for the president elect over the controversial nature of his campaign. While some remained optimistic about his impending presidency, others seemed less so.

“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security, and defense,” May said following the results, the Guardian reports. “I look forward to working with president elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead.”

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who has been likened to Donald Trump, echoed May’s sentiments: “I believe passionately in the importance of the U.K.-U.S. relationship and am confident we can take it forward together.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that people are “understandably shocked” by Trump’s win, but explained it as an “unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn’t working for most people.” He did, however, express hope for the “decency and common sense of the American people” and referred to the election results as a “global wakeup call” that show we need a “real alternative to a failed economic and political system.”


Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron expressed concern that liberal values—which he specified as “moderation, freedom, respect for the rule of law, openness and concern for one another”—have never been more threatened in his lifetime. He added that we can no longer take them for granted because “there is nothing inevitable about the rise of nationalism, protectionism, and division.” He said that Trump’s victory represents a defeat of those values, and now we “need to fight for them, to win the arguments, [and] to inspire new generations.”

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the U.S. election “a devastating day for women, for people of color, for disabled people, and for an inclusive society in the U.S.A.… [and] a hammer blow for the fight against climate change.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said that Trump now has a responsibility to “heal the deep divisions he has caused” with his “hate-filled campaign.”

In a nail-biting race, Trump became the president elect with 276 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 218. At the time of writing, with 98% reporting, each candidate claimed 48% of the popular vote: Clinton receiving about 163,000 more votes than her opponent.