Boris Johnson is reportedly trying to woo US Presidential candidate Joe Biden with Downing Street increasingly convinced that Donald Trump will not be re-elected.
Johnson has been shown private polling that shows Biden is on track for a landslide victory, spurring him to try to build ties with the former Vice President.
Trump and Johnson spoke earlier this week, with Johnson wishing the President a speedy recovery from his bout of Covid.
The Prime Minister has been seen as trying to have a close relationship with Trump, which has left his aides fearful that he could be shunned by a potential Biden US administration.
The Sunday Times reports that a foreign secretary Dominic Raab and the UK’s ambassador to the US Dame Karen Pierce have been conducting backroom talks with close Biden allies.
Raab has met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chris Coons, while Pierce met with Biden’s foreign policy advisors Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan.
Blinken and Sullivan are tipped to become secretary of state and national security adviser respectively in a potential Biden White House.
A senior Tory source told the Times: “They’re writing off Trump in Number 10 now.”
Downing Street is worried about how Johnson will be received by Biden if he becomes President and about how this relationship could affect UK-US trade negotiations.
One diplomat said Biden is still sour with Johnson, after he talked during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign of “the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire”.
They told The Times: “They remember that.
“Democrats also regard Trump as appalling and disgusting and there will be a penalty for people who sucked up to Trump.”