Joe Biden wins US presidency: Cambridgeshire politician delighted ‘nightmare of Donald Trump as a world leader’ is over
Joe Biden’s victory in the race for the White House puts an end to “the nightmare” of four years with Donald Trump as a world leader, one Cambridgeshire politician has said.
Aidan Van de Weyer, the Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and a South Cambridgeshire district councillor, said Mr Biden had “focussed on the issues” while Mr Trump had “attempted to stir up division and hatred” during the campaign.
Mr Biden promised to be a president for all Americans regardless of who they voted for after he clinched victory.
The former vice president won the key battleground of Pennsylvania on Saturday – some four days after polls closed – pushing him over the 270 electoral college votes threshold.
Democrat Mr Biden said he was “honoured” that America had “chosen me to lead our great country”, adding that it was time for the US to “unite” and “heal”.
A little earlier, Mr Trump, who has yet to concede, left the White House to play golf.
Cllr Van de Weyer said: “It is fantastic news that Joe Biden’s victory in the US Election has been confirmed, putting an end to the nightmare of the last four years with Donald Trump as a world leader.
“The campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris focussed on the issues that affect people’s lives, while Donald Trump attempted to stir up division and hatred.
“And Biden encouraged his supporters to vote by post given the pandemic, which has escalated so far out of control under Trump - while Trump urged voters to turn up in person at polling stations.
“Trump has been making baseless claims about fraud in the postal voting, which risk undermining our democratic values. Joe Biden has sought to calm the situation and emphasised that he would govern in the interests of the whole country.
“Such contrasting behaviour between the two candidates confirms that the American people have made the right choice. They have chosen the candidate who believed the science and did right by the electorate in this pandemic election - and who upholds the democratic process above all.
“The right-wing populism of Donald Trump has not gone away. There are plenty of people in the UK who emulate his techniques of bluster and aggression. We must remain vigilant and speak up for the values of respect for all citizens, the rule of law and democracy.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Mr Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris, adding: “The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also congratulated the victors, adding that it was a close contest and Mr Trump “fought hard”.
Cambridge’s Labour MP Daniel Zeichner said: “Like many people in Cambridge I have watched the American election with a mixture of fascination and horror and I am just so pleased that Trump has been defeated. I feel an overwhelmingly sense of relief.
“This is a great day for everyone who believes that hope and decency can triumph over despair and hatred. It’s a victory everyone who supports a rules based international order, and for those of us who want to urgently tackle climate change, racism and division.
“I have to say I am disappointed by the muddled response from the Prime Minister and the government but pleased that Sir Keir Starmer so quickly acted as the statesman he is, and warmly congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory and praised their campaign marked by decency, integrity and compensation.
“Now we have the chance to work together to defeat the pandemic and tackle climate change. It is a good day.”
Mr Biden, who is expected to address the nation at around 1am on Sunday, UK time, said on Twitter: “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not.”
In a statement, he said he was “honoured and humbled” by the trust the American people had placed in him and Ms Harris.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.
“We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together,” he said.
Former president Barack Obama said he “could not be prouder” to congratulate Mr Biden and Ms Harris, saying: “We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be president and already carries himself that way.
“Because when he walks into the White House in January, he’ll face a series of extraordinary challenges no incoming president ever has – a raging pandemic, an unequal economy and justice system, a democracy at risk, and a climate in peril.
“I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton hailed Mr Biden and Ms Harris as “a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America”.
Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, posted: “America has spoken and democracy has won.
“Now we have a President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who will serve all of us and bring us all together.”
Meanwhile, Mr Trump said in a statement he considers the election “far from over” as he repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent ballots and vowed to press ahead with legal action.
He said: “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.”
Mr Trump added: “Beginning (on) Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”
On Saturday morning, a top election official dismissed Mr Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
Mr Trump posted a number of tweets on Saturday, alleging that “bad things” happened, referring to votes being “illegally received” and insisting he has won “by a lot”.
But Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub said there has been no evidence of voter fraud.
Speaking on CNN after Mr Trump’s string of tweets – which were flagged by Twitter as containing information about the election that may be “misleading” – Democrat Ms Weintraub said: “State and local officials, and poll workers throughout the country, really stepped up.
“And there have been very few complaints about how this election has run.
“Very few substantiated complaints, let me put it that way. There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud.
“There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast.”
Her comments came after Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that tens of thousands of votes were “illegally received” after 8pm on Tuesday “totally and easily changing the results in Pennsylvania and certain other razor thin states”.
He later tweeted: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
Twitter flagged this tweet, saying official sources may not have called the race when it was tweeted.