UK looks to climate action with Australia's new PM

Boris Johnson tells his counterpart there will be collaboration on 'shared challenges'

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the election of Australia's new leader Anthony Albanese.
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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,” Mr Johnson said in a message to the Labor party leader, according to Downing Street.

Mr Johnson shares an ideology with Australia's defeated 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 like-minded democracies we work every day to make the world a better, safer, greener and more prosperous place,” Mr Johnson told Mr Albanese.

The UK leader hailed a new post-Brexit free-trade agreement between their countries, and a defence partnership also involving the US that involves Australia using nuclear-powered submarines for the first time.

Pledging to collaborate with Mr Albanese on “shared challenges”, Mr Johnson said the “only distance between us is geographical”.

In acknowledgement of 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.

Updated: May 22, 2022, 4:26 AM