Sajid Javid has said the relationship between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump has been “completely overstated” as he hailed Joe Biden’s victory in the US election as the “right outcome”.
The former chancellor accused Trump of “adolescent behaviour” and said he had done “damage at home and abroad” during his time in office.
Javid also dismissed reports of Johnson and Trump “being close”, insisting that their relationship was nothing more than a “good, strong working relationship”.
“We don’t choose who the US president is, once the American people have made their decision we are of course going to work with that president,” he told Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.
“The UK-US relationship is indispensable. Over the last few decades there have been many presidents and prime ministers and whoever those personalities have been, that relationship has remained strong.
“I personally believe that the whole thing about Boris Johnson and Donald Trump being close is completely overstated.
“They had a good, strong working relationship based on cooperation. And I have no doubt that when Boris Johnson and Joe Biden speak they will hit it off straight away and they will build up a rapport because, if nothing else, they have got so many mutual interests.”
Speculating about the possibility of a trade deal between the UK government and the incoming Biden administration, Javid said it would be “far more likely” than under Trump.
"President Trump is a protectionist, he has been very clear about that, he's paralysed the WTO (World Trade Organisation).
"We now want to strike more trade deals across the world and actually what you need is a president who believes in free trade, and that's what we're going to have with Joe Biden."
Watch: Johnson pledges to work with Biden after election victory
Biden has previously indicated his disapproval of Brexit and urged Britain not to compromise the Good Friday Agreement.
Senior Conservative politicians are reportedly worried that a trade deal with the US, long promised by Donald Trump, may not be possible under Biden.
Former cabinet minister Baroness Nicky Morgan said: “I think the PM will not want the first conversation he has with Biden to be about Northern Ireland, Brexit and no deal. Getting a deal will make that conversation much easier.”
While former cabinet minister Damian Green added: “A deal is better than a no deal for all sorts of reasons.
“But a Biden White House would be much more receptive to a UK-US deal if we already had one with the EU.”
But Labour MP David Lammy said on Sunday: "It was foolish for Boris to put the Good Friday Agreement on the table in the way that he did when you know you have an Irish-American who might become leader of his country, and where Democrats have long-standing concerns.”