The message from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their election victory has just been overwritten by a picture originally written to congratulate President Trump, it has surfaced.
The Prime Minister had tweeted in a picture message: “Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement. The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our common priorities, from climate change to trade and security.
A closer look at the picture, however, reveals the outline of what seems to be Trump’s name above that of Biden, which has not been completely erased from the picture.
Just above the words “Joe Biden”, when the color balance is changed, “Trump on” became visible. Other deleted words that are still weakly visible are “Second Term” and “on the future of this”. It is not clear what the message would have read if Trump had been victorious.
This message, which was first highlighted on Guido Fawkes’ political website, represents another point of contention between the Johnson administration and the Biden administration.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “This is another point of contention between the Johnson government and the Biden government: “As was to be expected, two statements on the outcome of this closely contested election were prepared in advance. A technical error meant that parts of the alternative message were embedded in the background of the graph”.
Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris pic.twitter.com/xrpE99W4c4
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 7, 2020
Johnson hopes to build a close relationship with the Biden government as he seeks a trade agreement with the US after Brexit.
Tommy Vietor, Obama’s former special adviser who is close to Biden, responded to this congratulatory tweet with a clear reminder of what could happen to the relationship between Britain and the US: “This shape-shifting disgust [Boris Johnson] weighs heavily. We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and your slavish devotion to Trump.
Vietor refers to Johnson’s reaction to Obama removing a statue of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office in 2016.
“Some said it was an affront to Britain,” Johnson wrote in the Sun newspaper at the time. “Some said it was a symbol of the partly Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire, which Churchill had so eagerly defended.
It is reported that relations between Johnson and Biden are further strained after the president-elect hinted that he would rule out a trade agreement between the two countries if it violated the Good Friday Agreement on the island of Ireland.
Johnson is currently trying to get his Internal Market Act passed by Parliament, which his own government has admitted is in breach of international law and would also allow it to override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed between Westminster and Brussels.
In a tweet, Biden wrote: “We cannot allow the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, to become a victim of brexite. Any trade agreement between the US and Britain must be made conditional on compliance and prevent the return of a hard border. Period”.
In contrast, Trump was considered a strong advocate of brexite.
In the meantime, Biden has taken up the post of President-Elect, started work on a transition team and set up a website, BuildBackBetter.com, and a Twitter account, @Transition46.
He has also begged all Americans to wear a mask as he warned of a “dark winter” looming due to the COVID 19 pandemic. His comments came as the country passed 10 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
He said: “I beg you, wear a mask. Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement. But it is a good start to pull the country together. The goal of wearing a mask is not to make your life less comfortable or to take something away from you. It is about giving something back to us all, a normal life”.