Boris Johnson just met with a white supremacist and Trump’s son-in-law. This is not normal.

The UK government needs to find its backbone


Boris Johnson is in New York for a few days, holding the UK government’s first talks with Donald Trump’s team. Officials say that the foreign secretary held ‘positive but frank’ talks with key advisers, led by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.

Let’s rephrase that:

In the last few hours, the country’s chief diplomat has — in his official capacity — held talks with a far-right white nationalist and a member of the president-elect’s family, who has yet to separate his business interests from his role as a presidential adviser.

This is not normal, and we must not allow it to become so.

Yesterday, Theresa May said that the UK’s relationship with the US was ‘based on shared values’ and claimed that ‘in the UK, we feel we can say to the US if we disagree with something that they are doing.’

Surely, then, the government is in a position to object to meeting with Bannon, widely considered to be a fake news-touting fascist? Surely it’s in a position to point out that shameless nepotism is not one of the ‘shared values’ that underpin the special relationship?

As a liberal democratic world power, the UK has a responsibility to call out team Trump’s incredible abuses. Instead, the government has chosen appeasement, clamouring for whatever puny favours the president-elect is willing to bestow.

At the outset of his presidency, foreign leaders must make it clear to Trump that he cannot bully them into submission, nor expect them to overlook his flagrant ethics violations.

May is scheduled to meet Trump in March. Hopefully by then her government will have found its spine.

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin is editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

8 Responses to “Boris Johnson just met with a white supremacist and Trump’s son-in-law. This is not normal.”

  1. Soupwaiter

    The British Conservative party is a right of centre organisation and as such they are not likely to attack the US administration. They will attack the EU, which is left leaning. Politics isn’t about being right, it is about winning, or losing.

  2. Anon

    Yes, and I’m sure that Gaddafi was a paragon of virtue when Tony Blair met and hugged him, before this country encouraged his displacement and horrific murder.

    The Labour party is up to its neck in unsavoury associations – but unfortunately that is often what grown up politics is all about.

    BTW – who are Left Foot Forward to set the ethical standards for anybody – when they stop forcing their progressive agenda on other countries through warfare, they might be able to take the moral high ground.

  3. GodfreyR

    And members of the Blair government met with IRA terrorists !!!

  4. GodfreyR

    The Government of the UK as been appeasing islamofascists for decades.

  5. Alma

    This is politics! We may disagree some actions but we don’t know what is behind them!

  6. Will Webb

    “The UK government needs to find it’s backbone”

    I doubt any of you were even born with spines, so who are you to talk?

  7. danesclose

    Members of the British Government, both Tory & Labour, met the IRA (e.g. Whitelaw 1973).
    Sometimes need to speak to disgusting people to get peace.
    What is your point?

  8. Ken Patterson

    Does LFF have it’s own Army to “enforce its progressive agenda … through warfare”? Or is Niamh subbing for the Chief of the General Staff on his days off?
    Got it, she’s following in Dame Judy’s footsteps and is really “M” !!!!

Leave a Reply