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Dominic Raab slammed after failing to condemn Donald Trump falsely declaring US election victory

Dominic Raab on BBC Breakfast - Credit: BBC

Dominic Raab has been criticised for failing to condemn Donald Trump’s false declaration of victory in the US election.

The foreign secretary refused to comment on whether he felt it was wrong for the US president to declare victory prematurely.

With the US election result still on a knife-edge, Republican incumbent Trump falsely declared victory and said “we want all voting to stop”, despite postal ballots in key swing states still being counted.

Asked on Times Radio about Trump’s comments about “fraud” in the election, Raab said: “I think different countries have different ways that they approach the voting system.

“I know that there is obviously a heated debate about the balance and the propriety of posted votes versus votes cast in the ballot box in a polling station – I’m just not getting drawn into that.

“We are right in the heated aftermath where both candidates are making statements … if there are any contentious aspects around it, it is for the courts and the electoral college system to decide that.

“I’m not getting sucked in at all into that debate.”

When asked a similar question by the BBC, Raad replied: “Forgive me if I don’t get drawn into commenting on the election night commentary in the US. I don’t think it’s a good move for a UK foreign secretary.”

Asked if he would “call a good friend out” for spreading misinformation, the minister said:  “The truth is that we must now wait to see how this uncertainty unfolds… We have full faith in the American system to produce a [result] and it may take days rather than hours.”

Raab’s comments caused a stir on social media.

Guardian political correspondent Peter Walker tweeted: “On his morning broadcast round, Dominic Raab is very pointedly not condemning Trump’s false declaration of victory/call for counting to stop. One side note for today is how long the UK can keep this up if/when it does become clear Trump is trying to steal the election.” 

Comedian and political pundit Matt Forde wrote: “Dominic Raab, our fearless Foreign Secretary refusing to say whether it was right for Donald Trump to falsely claim victory. It’s bad enough when Trump tries to subvert democracy, it’s horrific when our leading figures can’t openly call it out.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Max Wilkinson: “The fact that Trump has declared the election a fraud and is trying to blag his way to victory is no surprise. But the fact our Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab seems to think it’s all fine is a bit of a shocker.” 

Barrister Douglas Lloyd posted: “Dominic Raab failing miserably to confirm the very basic principle that votes should be counted and you don’t stop a vote because you fear losing. Sadly, I wouldn’t expect more from our government.”

Ewan Paterson quipped: “Oooo, is someone an ickle bit scared they won’t get their trade deal?”