Boris Johnson and other conservative cabinet ministers who spent years “lining up to praise” Donald Trump, despite their objectionable views, have done nothing more than diminish the UK’s reputation in the world, the foreign secretary said. in the shade, Lisa Nandy.
Calling for a new UK foreign policy with a “moral center”, Nandy attacks key figures in the Conservative leadership for the way they praised Trump as a means of advancing their own careers, forgetting that their attitudes amounted to rejection. British values of tolerance. , democracy and promotion of minority rights.
Also today, writing in the Observer, London Mayor Sadiq Khan renews his four-year war of words with Trump, saying the outgoing president, who encouraged his supporters to stage protests over the outcome of the US elections in Washington DC last week, since the The principle “followed the playbook of fascist dictators and warlords who came to power in the 1930s and 1940s.” Khan says that the way conservative leaders praised Trump over the years amounted to a form of “appeasement” that will not be forgotten.
Talking with him ObserverNandy said the behavior of members of the current administration, including Johnson and Michael Gove, since early 2017 had been “nauseating.”
“Whether it’s trade, climate change or justice for 19-year-old Harry Dunn, those cabinet ministers have come away with absolutely nothing to show for these public displays of adulation, except for Britain’s diminished reputation in the world. world, “said the shadow. said the Foreign Secretary. “The special relationship with the United States works when it is based on honesty, mutual trust and respect. Ministers were so eager to swallow Trump’s manual on how politics should be done that they abandoned British values, interests and self-respect.
“Britain’s foreign policy must have a moral center and we must have the confidence to stand firm against those who undermine our values and interests. Our country is better than this and we deserve a government that proves it ”.
During a press conference last week, after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building and clashed with police in what incoming President Joe Biden called an “insurrection,” Johnson joined the condemnation. global Trump.
“To the extent that he encouraged people to storm the Capitol and to the extent that the president has constantly questioned the outcome of free and fair elections, I think that was completely wrong,” the prime minister said. “I think what President Trump has been saying about it has been completely wrong and I condemn without reservation encouraging people to behave in the shameful way they did on Capitol Hill.”
But Nandy and Khan say that memories of how he befriended Trump at every step of his rise to No. 10, promoting the president’s pro-Brexit enthusiasm without ever openly criticizing him, including for his treatment of minorities and women, will endure. .
Last year leaks of diplomatic exchanges It showed that Johnson had told US officials that he believed the president was “making America great again.”
In early 2017, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove paid tribute to Trump in a Times interview in which he seemed dazzled by his appearance, talking about his “clothing in primary colors so bold they make everyone else in the room look scruffy.” Gove was also photographed smiling alongside him.
Khan writes: “Whatever they say now, the top Conservative ministers were quick to flatter Trump. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, and others deliberately linked their political project to theirs. Not just by facilitating a clearly inappropriate state visit to the UK, but by forging close ties between his party and the Trump movement.
“Their appeasement will not be forgotten despite their belated last minute attempts to put distance between them and Trump.”
Khan added: “The events in the United States must now act as a wake-up call for democracies around the world. There is no guarantee that other democracies will prove as strong as the United States, especially as some countries are likely to suffer dire economic consequences from the pandemic, conditions that history tells us are ripe for the rise of fascism. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism