Angela Merkel beats Boris Johnson in race to be first European guest at Biden White House

a man wearing a suit and tie standing next to a woman: SEI82634699.jpg © POOL/AFP via Getty Images SEI82634699.jpg

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is to be the first European leader to visit Joe Biden at the White House, beating Boris Johnson in the race to Washington.

Downing Street brushed off suggestions that Mr Johnson would be disappointed, but the decision is certain to be viewed as a snub reflecting the UK’s dwindling influence in the US in the wake of Brexit.

It came as Mr Biden and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, were seen with their arms around one another’s shoulders as they walked away from a “family picture” photocall on the beach while Mr Johnson looked on.

No plans for a US visit for Mr Johnson were announced following his 80-minute face-to-face meeting with Mr Biden at the G7 summit in Cornwall.

But the prime minister’s official spokesperson insisted they had got on well, saying: “You saw very clearly yesterday the close relationship that the prime minister and President Biden have. The president himself talked quite emphatically about the enduring relationship with the UK, as did the prime minister.”

Angela Merkel beats Boris Johnson in race to be first European guest at Biden White House