MPs Retract Their Effusive Praise for Biden Over Afghanistan

Guido’s old enough to remember when everyone (see: Twitter) thought Joe Biden’s election would usher in a new era of global leadership. Gone were the days of bluster and chaos. The adults were in the room again – America was back. Even a few notable Tory MPs heralded the return of ‘business as usual’ in Washington: Tobias Ellwood told everyone to “buckle up” because “US leadership is returning to the global stage“; Tom Tugendhat insisted the so-called special relationship is “founded in a shared vision of the world“; Neil O’Brien welcomed Biden’s election as a “renormalisation” of politics. Apparently even Downing Street was relieved – life was about to get so much easier…

Seven months later, and the story is quite different. Ellwood is now lamenting the “demise” of the special relationship, and scratching his head over the premature collapse of America’s great “new chapter”. Tom Tugendhat, of course, appeared in the chamber last week to deride Biden’s withdrawal as “shameful”. Former Tory MP Rory Stewart is also furious, despite calling Biden’s inaugural address “deeply reassuring and profoundly needed“. No one’s managed to outplay Labour’s Chris Bryant yet, who’s gone from nominating Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize to calling Afghanistan “the worst UK foreign policy disaster since Suez“. As though Biden had nothing to do with it…

Obviously the usual suspects also have some explaining to do. Sir Keir’s claim that Biden has “always shared Labour’s values” doesn’t quite wash with the ‘deep concern‘ he expressed last week. Likewise, Ed Davey and the LibDems might want to ask whether America’s “turning of a page” meant millions of Afghans would soon be “fearing for their lives“…

mdi-tag-outline Afghanistan
mdi-account-multiple-outline Ed Davey Joe Biden Keir Starmer Neil O'Brien Rory Stewart Tobias Ellwood Tom Tugendhat
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