BORIS Johnson had to tell German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mute today as they took part in the first virtual G7 meetings since the pandemic.
And the PM and Joe Biden met virtually for the first time as Boris chaired the summit, calling on global leaders to pledge more cash to an international vaccine alliance.
The global call of world leaders chaired by the PM todayCredit: Crown Copyright
Boris Johnson had to tell Angela Merkel to mute her phone on the callCredit: EPA
He urged the G7 leaders to work together on “building back better” from the pandemic – joking that the new US President had probably stolen it from him.
Boris joked: “I think he may have nicked it from us but I certainly nicked it from somewhere else – probably some UN disaster relief programme.”
Mr Biden could be seen laughing on the video call on the screen inside the Cabinet Room.
The PM had to ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mute her phone, according to Reuters.
He started with calling on world leaders to step up their donations to the international vaccine alliance, COVAX, telling them: “We’ve got to make sure the whole world is vaccinated because this is a global pandemic and it’s no use one country being far ahead of another, we’ve got to move together.”
It came as new global polling from Ipsos finds seven in ten Britons (69 [er cent) want to pass on some of our extra doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be used in other countries.
Britons are more likely to want to do this than any other country polled. Globally, just under half (46 per cent) say they would want their country to do this.
The PM has vowed £500m to the alliance and vowed to give millions of doses away around the world – but has yet to put a proper timetable on it.
Earlier Emmanuel Macron attempted to upstage the PM by demanding he starts dishing them out now – despite the EU’s shambolic rollout being far behind target.
The PM also used the G7 call to demand nations step up in the climate chance fight, saying: “I think that this is the right moment for us all to focus on the other great natural challenge about which we’ve been warned time and time and time again.
“We can’t ignore it – the warnings have been even clearer than they were for Covid – and that is the problem of climate change, and that’s why we’re going to be working very hard to get some great things done at G7 on our plans for the Cop26 summit that we are holding along with our Italian friends in Glasgow in November.”
The PM hailed the “great” news that Mr Biden had brought back the US into the Paris Climate Change Agreement today – hailing it as a “great step forward”.
“It’s great, by the way, that Joe (Biden) has brought the United States back into the Paris Climate Change Accords – a great step forward.”
EU chief Ursula Von Der Leyen was on the call tooCredit: EPA
Macron took part from FranceCredit: EPA