UK looks to climate action with Australia’s new PM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election as Australia’s new leader, vowing to work together on trade, military ties and climate change.
“Our countries have a long history and a bright future together,” Johnson said in a message to the Labor party leader, according to Downing Street.
Johnson shares a centre-right ideology with Australia’s defeated leader Scott Morrison, and their conservative parties have looked to the same electoral strategists for advice.
But the pair differed on climate change, a defining issue of the Australian election.
“As thriving likeminded democracies we work every day to make the world a better, safer, greener and more prosperous place,” Johnson told the incoming Australian prime minister Albanese.
The UK leader hailed a new post-Brexit free-trade agreement between their countries, and a defence partnership also involving the United States that will see Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.
Pledging to collaborate with Albanese on “shared challenges”, Johnson said the “only distance between us is geographical”.
In a nod to China’s growing assertiveness, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that Britain would also work with Albanese’s new government “for a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
The British Labour party also enjoys close links to its Australian counterpart, working together at elections with both parties enduring a decade in the political wilderness.
Labour leader Keir Starmer hailed Albanese for bringing “stale” conservative rule to an end in his country, adding: “You showed that Australia deserves better.”
© Agence France-Presse