LONDON – Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson pleaded US President Donald Trump on Friday not to get involved in UK upcoming December general election amid his state visit alongside other NATO leaders next week.
“What we don’t do traditionally as loving allies and friends, what we don’t do traditionally, is get involved in each other’s election campaigns,” Johnson told LBC radio.
“The best [thing] when you have close friends and allies like the US and the UK is for neither side to get involved in each other’s election,” the Britain’s prime minister added .
Reports by Bloomberg also indicated that several UK officials are worried that the US president could damage the Conservatives’ election campaign with his “off script” and “ill-judged comments” during the NATO summit and are therefore taking steps to “minimise the risk”, without specific details being given.
Johnson’s remarks and alleged measures come as no surprise following Trump’s October interview with head of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage, where he praised “fantastic” Johnson, while suggesting that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn would be “so bad” for the UK as prime minister.
Corbyn has long been criticising the Conservative Party’s post-Brexit plans for the country’s National Health Service (NHS), suggesting that the election of a Tory prime minister would damage the British people’s access to free healthcare due to privatizing its services.
Labour recently published a 451-page package of leaked government documents showing that the Conservative Cabinet under Prime Minister Theresa May had purportedly negotiated the “sale” of the NHS to the US. Johnson has denied the accusations by specifying that Britain’s health services are not for sale. Leaked documents show there have been two years of talks with the US about the NHS.
In June this year, the US president said during a briefing with former UK prime minister that US companies could receive access to the NHS following Britain’s divorce from the European Union. Although he later clarified that he was not planning to exploit Britain’s health system, Corbyn used the remark to attack the Conservatives’ campaign, citing Johnson and Trump’s political collaboration.
The Conservative Party is currently leading the polls ahead of the 12 December general election, with Trump’s third visit to the country expected to take place between 2 and 4 December.