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01st Jun 2019

Donald Trump backs ‘very good guy’ Boris Johnson as next Conservative prime minister

James Dawson

There’s likely to be more Trump x Boris content to come

Donald Trump has endorsed Boris Johnson’s bid to become the next leader of the Conservative party, saying that he is a “very good guy” and would make an “excellent” prime minister.

The comments came in an exclusive interview with The Sun ahead of the president’s state visit to the UK next week. Asked directly about the leadership contest Trump said he had “studied it very hard” before endorsing the former foreign secretary.

He told The Sun: “I actually have studied it very hard. I know the different players. But I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. I like him. I have always liked him.”

Theresa May will step down on the 7 June triggering a Tory leadership contest which will effectively elect a new prime minister. The process sees Conservative MPs whittle the number of participants down to two, with the two candidates then being put to a ballot of the party’s grassroots membership.

Although Johnson is an overwhelming favourite with the Conservative membership, Tory members of parliament may attempt to prevent him being one of the two options they are able to vote on. Turning to other leadership candidates, Trump added that he looked favourably on current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, saying: “Yup, I like him.”

However, he said he was less pleased with environment secretary Michael Gove after he previously made comments criticising Trump’s position on Iran, saying that “sabre rattling of the kind that some have advocated is not the way forward”.

Trump’s remarks came as it was announced on Friday that the 20-foot Donald Trump baby balloon that the president said last year made him feel “unwelcome” in London will once again fly when he makes a state visit to the UK next week.

It has been speculated that Trump may make a more formal endorsement of a candidate – likely Johnson – during his time in the UK.