LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he thought Prime Minister Boris Johnson was very capable and would do a good job, moments after saying he did not want to get involved in the British election campaign.
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (not pictured), ahead of the NATO summit in Watford, in London, Britain, December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The Dec. 12 election will decide the fate of Brexit and the world’s fifth-largest economy: Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU on Jan. 31 while opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised another EU referendum.
Trump has featured heavily in the British election campaign, where his name is used by the Labour Party as a by-word for a capitalist system that Corbyn, a veteran socialist campaigner, has promised to tear up if he wins power.
In London to attend a meeting of NATO leaders, Trump said he did not want to complicate the election, but then added:
“I think Boris is very capable and I think he’ll do a good job.” He has previously cast New York-born Johnson as Britain’s Trump and feted him as the best leader to deliver Brexit.
Johnson’s Conservative Party are ahead in opinion polls, but it remains unclear whether they are far enough in front to form the majority government Johnson requires to take Britain out of the EU in January.