Boris Johnson condemns 'disgraceful scenes' in US

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned the "disgraceful scenes" in the US, after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress and clashed with police.

Rioters breached the Capitol building where lawmakers met to confirm Joe Biden's presidential election victory.

The PM said it was "vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power".

And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a "direct attack on democracy".

"The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power," Mr Johnson tweeted.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, called the events "utterly horrifying".

Friend of President Trump and leader of Reform UK - formerly the Brexit Party - Nigel Farage tweeted: "Storming Capitol Hill is wrong. The protesters must leave."

The US Congress has now reconvened after the violence - spurred on by Mr Trump's unproven claims of electoral fraud - to certify Mr Biden's victory in the US election in November

Hundreds of the president's supporters stormed the Capitol, and staged an occupation of the building in Washington DC.

Both chambers of Congress were forced into recess, as protesters clashed with police and tear gas was released.

Four people died on Capitol grounds during the violence, including a woman shot by police and three others, who died as a result of "medical emergencies", local police said.

Video caption Police place US Capitol Building on lockdown after Trump supporters breached security lines

UK MPs from across the political spectrum have criticised the events in the US.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said there was "no justification for these violent attempts to frustrate the lawful and proper transition of power", while Home Secretary Priti Patel called the scenes "unacceptable and undemocratic".

She added: "There is no justification for this violence and Donald Trump must condemn it."

Her Conservative colleague, and former Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt directly addressed President Trump for telling the crowd to march on Congress, tweeting: "He shames American democracy tonight and causes its friends anguish - but he is not America."

Labour's deputy leader, Angela Rayner said: "The violence that Donald Trump has unleashed is terrifying, and the Republicans who stood by him have blood on their hands."

And shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said the events were "the legacy of a politics of hate that pits people against each other and threatens the foundations of democracy".

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Meanwhile, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has defended the prime minister's response to the rioting.

Asked on ITV's Peston programme why Mr Johnson hadn't criticised Mr Trump, she said: "The prime minister has been clear tonight that we need a peaceful and orderly transition."

Ms Coffey added that events in the US were a "reminder that democracy is something precious - and will only continue to thrive as long as we protect institutions that make this country important and not demean each other when the majority of what we want to achieve is similar outcomes".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Donald Trump and Boris Johnson at a Nato summit in 2019

Meanwhile, the SNP's leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, said the end of Mr Trump's presidency "cannot come quick enough".

He tweeted: "What a legacy the events of today are to his time in office. Shameful, shocking, an affront to democracy."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, called the scenes "absolutely horrendous", while his party's foreign affairs spokeswoman, Layla Moran, said: "The scenes coming out of Washington tonight are an attack on democracy."