Boris Johnson refuses to say if he regrets saying Donald Trump worthy of Nobel Peace Prize

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold a meeting at UN Headquarters in New York, September 24, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson, pictured with Donald Trump in September 2019, has refused to say if he regrets a past suggestion that Trump may be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Boris Johnson refuses to say if he regrets previous suggestion Donald Trump may be worthy of Nobel Peace Prize

  • PM’s past relationship with Trump under scrutiny following US Capitol violence last week

  • Johnson, appearing at House of Commons committee, only tells MPs he’s looking forward to working with Joe Biden

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Boris Johnson has refused to say if he regrets suggesting Donald Trump may be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

It comes as Trump’s presidency ends in disgrace after he encouraged supporters to storm the US Capitol last week. Five people died in the violence that followed. Trump is likely to face an unprecedented second impeachment.

It has meant Johnson is facing fresh scrutiny over his past relationship with the outgoing US president.

In May 2018, when Johnson was foreign secretary, he said Trump would potentially be in line for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Watch: Moment Trump encouraged supporters to go to the Capitol

In an interview with Sky News, he had said: “If he can fix North Korea and if he can fix the Iran nuclear deal then I don’t see why he is any less of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize than Barack Obama, who got it before he even did anything.”

On Wednesday, with the prime minister appearing before the House of Commons liaison committee, Labour MP Catherine McKinnell asked Johnson if he regretted saying this “given recent events”.

Johnson however, refused to answer the question.

He said: “I’m in favour of the prime minister of the UK having the best possible relationship with the president of the United States and I had an excellent conversation very recently with president-elect Joe Biden.”

Boris Johnson at the liaison committee meeting on Wednesday. (PA)
Boris Johnson at the liaison committee meeting on Wednesday. (PA)

On Thursday, Johnson “unreservedly condemned” Trump for his part in the riots.

Trump’s incendiary comments were blamed for directly provoking violence from the mob which stormed the building in a failed attempt to overturn the US election result and prevent Biden taking to the White House.

During his one-and-a-half years as prime minister, Johnson has previously been reluctant to criticise Trump and appeared to enjoy a warm relationship with him.

The PM is not the only senior figure in government to have backed Trump.

House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg repeatedly spoke in favour of the president when he was a backbencher, including calling for the “reddest of red carpets” to be rolled out for Trump during that year’s visit to the UK.

In November last year, foreign secretary Dominic Raab also refused to condemn Trump for his baseless claims of voter fraud after losing the presidential election.

Watch: Pelosi says Trump engaged in 'treasonous activity'