Kamala Harris arrives at the White House
Ms Harris made history on Wednesday, becoming the first woman and first black and South Asian American to serve as US Vice President. She was sworn in just before Mr Biden took the oath of office to become the new US President – replacing Donald Trump. Ms Harris initially ran for the Democratic nomination, but Mr Biden won the race and chose her as his running mate.
There has been much speculation over whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to strike a deal with the new government, particularly due to Mr Biden’s past comments on Brexit.
But former British Army officer and Government defence adviser Nicholas Drummond believes the 78-year-old is serious about maintaining a strong relationship.
He told Express.co.uk: “Biden will want to acknowledge America’s closet ally and the fact that he plans meet Boris Johnson first among European leaders, clearly shows that US-UK links remain strong.
“Biden knows that he must also re-engage with Europe and will be particularly keen to do this effectively.
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“Again, we shouldn’t interpret any attempts to rebuild bridges with Germany and France as anti-UK or anti-Brexit.
“In essence, Biden knows the ropes having served as Obama’s Vice President.
“In the short-term, he will restore normal functioning government with decisions taken on the advice of his cabinet, rather than being based on random inputs.”
But Mr Drummond believes things could change in the future.
He added: “Once this happens, only then will we see more radical policies unfold.
“Biden is a smart guy and very sensitive to potentially divisive issues over here.
“I think he will be well advised by his inner circle and will not stir controversy.
“I expect Kamala Harris to wield more influence than previous Vice Presidents, but even she will tread carefully while US democracy is re-booted.
“She is a consummate professional. Both of them are pragmatists. This time in 12 months, the world will be a very different place.”
Just hours after Wednesday’s inauguration, reports emerged that the new President had replaced a bust of Sir Winston with a statue of union leader Cesar Chavez – a move that many considered to be symbolic of future US-UK relations.
Number 10 refused to criticise the action, despite Mr Johnson previously suggesting Barack Obama’s decision to display the bust in another part of the White House could have been viewed as a “snub to Britain”.
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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it was up “up to the President to decorate his office as he wishes”, and that Mr Johnson is “looking forward to working closely with Mr Biden”.
And Mr Drummond believes that view is reciprocated across the Atlantic.
He told Express.co.uk: “Churchill’s bust seems to be in favour with Republicans and out of favour with Democrats.
“I don’t think we need to read too much into its removal, it simply marks the changing of the guard.
“In any event, Joe Biden will want to put his own stamp on the Oval Office, if only to signal change.
“I don’t think it signifies a deterioration in the ‘special relationship,’ although some commentators might like to suggest otherwise, almost for the sake of controversy.”
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