Trumps backs Johnson as May looks on

By David Wilcock, Press Association Political Correspondent

Donald Trump reiterated his belief that Boris Johnson would make a "great prime minister" - while standing next to UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

The US president said the former foreign secretary, who resigned on Monday in protest at the Prime Minister's Brexit plan, had been "very nice to me".

His comments at a press conference at Chequers came after he told the Sun on Friday that Mr Johnson has "got what it takes" to lead the UK.

Mr Trump told reporters: "He's been very nice to me.

"He's been saying very good things about me as president.

"I think he thinks I'm doing a great job. I am doing a great job, I can tell you, just in case you haven't noticed.

"Boris Johnson, I think, would be a great prime minister."

Mr Johnson dramatically quit the Government on Monday afternoon, complaining that Theresa May's plan for Brexit would leave the UK a "colony" of the European Union.

In a scathing resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Johnson said that, under her leadership, the UK was "heading for a semi-Brexit", with the dream of an outward-looking global Britain "dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt".

His shock departure was the second resignation of a Cabinet "big beast" in less than 24 hours, after Brexit secretary David Davis walked out late on Sunday.

Before he arrived in the UK, Mr Trump had suggested he could meet Mr Johnson, which would have embarrassed Mrs May.

Ahead of the Nato summit in Brussels, the president told reporters: "He has been very, very nice to me, very supportive. Maybe we'll speak to him when I get over there.

"I like Boris Johnson. I've always liked him."

Mr Trump went further in his Sun interview, saying: "I was very saddened to see he was leaving government and I hope he goes back in at some point.

"I think he is a great representative for your country.

"I am just saying I think he would be a great prime minister. I think he's got what it takes."

The Daily Telegraph has said that Mr Johnson is to resume his weekly column for the newspaper, which he gave up when he became foreign secretary in 2016.