The American politician that Boris Johnson personally insulted could become Joe Biden’s UK ambassador in what would be an awkward move for the prime minister.
Back in 2012 Johnson was accused of racism after saying that Barack Obama’s “part-Kenyan” heritage had driven him towards anti-British sentiment.
In an article for The Sun during the campaigning, Johnson hit out at the former president for removing a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office.
He wrote: “Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender”.
But Johnson had his facts wrong, with the bust on ever on loan for the duration of George W Bush’s presidency.
It is a remark Democratic sources say their camp has never forgotten.
One told the Sunday Times at the weekend: “Biden’s got a long memory and Boris is not in his good books. Biden and Obama are like family. Many of the people around Biden have been talking about Boris Johnson. The Kenyan remark has never gone away. They see Boris and [Dominic] Cummings like Trump and Bannon.”
The comments were made as Tommy Vietor, a former Obama press aide, responded to Johnson’s tweet congratulating Biden by branding him a “shapeshifting creep”.
He said: “We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump.”
The view was echoed by Senator Chris Coons, tipped to become Biden’s secretary of state, who said the remarks “certainly wasn’t well-received on my part”.
Now Obama could get his revenge by becoming the next UK ambassador to the US.
A Conservative politician “with a friend in Biden’s circles” told the same newspaper: “I have heard there is a possibility that Obama could be asked as a thank you.”
A Biden source refused to be drawn on the claim, commenting: “We are still working on the cabinet”.
Leave.EU, a pro-Brexit group, fumed: “Really? The guy who said we’d be ‘back of the queue’? The anti-British sentiment of Biden & co knows no bounds. The humiliation begins…”
Jonathan Lis from thinktank British Influence, however, had doubts. He wrote: “Biden appointing Obama ambassador to the UK would be epic trolling, but that’s a big man for a small post.”
Jason Hunter, a trade expert, commented: “Rumours that Obama is being touted as US Ambassador to the UK… that would be cool to have him over here but frankly I’d far rather see Hillary Clinton appointed as attorney general running the Trump prosecutions.”