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Foreign Office denies claims Joe Biden floated Barack Obama becoming US ambassador to the UK


Foreign Office denies claims Joe Biden floated Barack Obama becoming US ambassador to the UK

  • Foreign Office denied Biden’s team floated Barack Obama as US ambassador
  • Claims surfaced amid speculation over delay in appointing new representative
  • Long-standing tensions between Boris Johnson and Barack Obama over Brexit 

The Foreign Office today flatly denied claims Joe Biden‘s team floated Barack Obama becoming the next US ambassador. 

Speculation has been growing over the delay in appointing a permanent representative in London since the new administration took over in January. 

The Sunday Express quoted Whitehall and Washington sources saying Mr Obama had been ‘informally suggested’ for the top diplomatic post.

However, the paper reported claims that Boris Johnson had rejected the idea, after the former president’s high-profile intervention during the Brexit referendum battle.

The Foreign Office today denied claims Joe Biden’s team (right) floated Barack Obama (left) becoming the next US ambassador

There have been tensions between Mr Obama and Mr Johnson since the Brexit campaign in 2016, when he visited London and warned the UK would be ‘at the back of the queue’ for a trade deal with the US if it left the bloc.

Mr Johnson was also said to have enraged Mr Obama by writing a column suggesting the then-president’s remarks were linked to his Kenyan heritage and British colonial rule. 

One senior Whitehall source told the Sunday Express: ‘It’s absolutely true that the Government has privately objected to an Obama appointment. It’s also true that this is why there is a delay.’  

But the Foreign Office said the claim was ‘categorically untrue’. 

‘These reports are untrue. Questions on US appointments are for the US,’ a spokeswoman said. 

There are not thought to be any examples of former president becoming ambassadors in modern times. 

There have been tensions between Mr Obama and Mr Johnson since the Brexit campaign in 2016, when he visited London and warned the UK would be 'at the back of the queue' for a trade deal with the US if it left the bloc

There have been tensions between Mr Obama and Mr Johnson since the Brexit campaign in 2016, when he visited London and warned the UK would be ‘at the back of the queue’ for a trade deal with the US if it left the bloc

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