Boris Johnson will have to start any relationship with Joe Biden from scratch after it emerged he has never met the former vice-president.
The Prime Minister was left hamstrung over a ‘strict’ rule from the Biden camp about discussions with foreign leaders, sources told. The order came after the controversy over Trump’s campaign team meeting with Russian government officials during the last presidential race.
Yet it remains to be seen just how Mr Biden and Mr Johnson will get on if he enters the White House, especially given the Prime Minister’s description of Barack Obama as ‘part-Kenyan’ with an ‘ancestral dislike’ of the British empire, and comparing Hillary Clinton, a former Democratic presidential candidate to a ‘sadistic mental health nurse’.
As a tribal Democrat, Mr Biden cannot fail to have taken such barbs to heart. Nor will he have been impressed by No 10’s wholehearted support for Brexit and its cosying up to his rival, Donald Trump.
But at heart Mr Biden is an internationalist – who knows to put global cooperation above petty party political feuds.
He will see Britain as a natural ally when it comes to issues such as renewing the US’s involvement in the Iran nuclear deal, strengthening NATO, fighting climate change, managing the rise of China and retaliating against the excesses of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.
Some argue, however, that Mr Biden’s deep-rooted loyalties as an Irish-American will stand in the way of any reassertion of the ‘special relationship’.