Boris Johnson's foreign secretary repeatedly refused to say 'all votes should be counted' in US
- The UK's foreign secretary Dominic Raab has repeatedly refused to say he thinks all votes should be counted in the US election.
- Dominic Raab said it was 'beyond reasonable doubt' that Biden had won the election, but accused an interviewer on Sky News of trying to 'drag' him into the debate about President Trump's false claims that the election was rigged.
- 'I'm not going to get drawn into opining on what is a different system in the US,' said Raab, when asked whether he believed 'all votes should be counted in a democratic election.'
- The move that risks increasing tensions between Boris Johnson's government from the incoming Biden administration.
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The UK's foreign secretary has repeatedly refused to say he thinks all votes should be counted in the US election, in a move that risks increasing tensions between Boris Johnson's government from the incoming Biden administration.
Dominic Raab said it was "beyond reasonable doubt" that Biden had won the election, but accused an interviewer on Sky News of trying to "drag him" into the debate about President Trump's false claims that the election was rigged.
"I'm not going to get drawn into opining on what is a different system in the US," said Raab, when asked whether he believed "all votes should be counted in a democratic election."The interviewer Sophie Ridge said it was "astonishing" that Raab had refused to answer the question affirmatively, to which Raab replied: "If I say yes and an appeal goes one way, we know for example there's going to be recounts ... We can also say the result is clear now and I don't think that's pre-empting those other processes. Which is exactly why I said we should tread sensitively to respect the integrity of the process."
Pressed for a third time to answer the question, Raab agreed "in principle" that all votes should be counted in a democratic election, before accusing the interviewer Sophie Ridge of trying to "drag me into the legal claims about whether or not all the votes have been properly counted." Ridge insisted that she was not.
It comes after the prime minister's spokesperson this week refused to say if Boris Johnson believed all votes should be counted in the US election, insisting instead that the "electoral process should be given a time to reach a conclusion," according to a Sky News report.
Raab's latest comments will potentially be seen as helpful to President Trump, who has repeatedly made false claims that the presidential election was rigged against him and has tried to make several states stop counting ballots.
Trump has filed legal challenges to results in several battleground states where Biden picked up more votes, but it is not clear any are likely to be successful. The secretary of state in Georgia has also indicated that there will be a recount there, but because Biden's margin of victory was so narrow, rather than there being any evidence of illegal ballot counting.
Raab was among the UK ministers to congratulate President-elect Biden for his success in the election on Saturday. However, he also included the claim, via a tweet, that "some processes are still playing out," as well as saying that the election was a close contest" and that President Trump had "fought hard."
—Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) November 7, 2020
Raab's comments risk contributing to tensions between Downing Street and the Biden campaign.
Business Insider reported on Saturday that Biden harbors some personal reservations about Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister.
One campaign source told Business Insider that Biden had never forgotten the jibe Johnson made about President Obama, under whom he served as Vice-President, when he said Obama might have disliked Britain because of his "part-Kenyan" ancestry.
Biden was also firmly opposed to Brexit, while Johnson's friendship with Donald Trump has reportedly "stuck in the throats" of Democrats around Biden.
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