A smiling Boris Johnson basked in England’s famous Ashes test victory this morning as he met with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison at the G7 summit in Biarritz.
Mr Johnson and Mr Morrison met on the final day of the summit to talk up the prospect of a post-Brexit trade deal between the two nations.
But the start of the meeting was dominated by England’s unexpected victory at Headingley as the series was squared at one a piece with two test matches remaining.
England had been on course to lose the match after a batting collapse in the first innings.
But Ben Stokes delivered one of the greatest batting performances by an Englishman in an Ashes test ever as he surged to an unbeaten second innings score of 135 runs.
Stokes and tailender Jack Leach put on a last wicket stand of 76 runs, propelling England to an unlikely win.
Mr Morrison said before he met Mr Johnson that he was expecting to be given a ‘hard time’ by the British Prime Minister who snuck off at the summit yesterday to watch the highlights of the test match.
But the two men were gracious in victory and defeat this morning as Mr Morrison congratulated England and Mr Johnson said there was still a long way to go.
Boris Johnson was all smiles as he met Australian PM Scott Morrison at the G7 in Biarritz this morning
Mr Morrison congratulated Mr Johnon on England’s latest Ashes test win as Mr Johnson insisted there was still a long way to go in the series
Mr Johnson told Mr Johnson England were ‘not taking anything for granted’ as they battle for the famous Ashes urn
Mr Morrison greeted Mr Johnson and immediately addressed England’s cricket win.
‘Congratulations on the Ashes,’ he told Mr Johnson.
The UK Prime Minister replied that he was ‘not taking anything for granted’ and pointed out there were ‘two to go’.
The final two games of the series will take place in September.
Mr Morrison told reporters at the summit yesterday he was braced for the Prime Minister to raise England’s victory when they met today.
‘I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time about the fact they clipped us in the latest Ashes,’ Mr Morrison said.
In a sign of how cricket diplomacy is playing a part at the gathering of world leaders, Downing Street insiders said Mr Johnson found out about Sunday’s test win from Indian leader Narendra Modi.
The meeting with Mr Morrison came on the last day of the three day gathering of the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations.
After meeting Mr Morrison, Mr Johnson is due to hold face-to-face meetings with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and outgoing Italian premier Giuseppe Conte.
In the main business on the agenda for today, the leaders will consider how to protect the environment, with Mr Johnson pledging £10 million to help prevent the destruction of the Amazon amid ongoing rainforest fires.
He also called on world leaders to step up efforts to save endangered species.
The funding for the South American rainforest will be made available immediately to protect and restore the habitat, including in areas affected by the current fires.
The Prime Minister will use the summit to call for ambitious new targets to halt and reverse the loss of habitats and species, arguing that efforts to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change are ‘two sides of the same coin’.
Mr Johnson said: ‘In a week where we have all watched, horrified, as the Amazon rainforest burns before our eyes, we cannot escape the reality of the damage we are inflicting on the natural world.
‘The planet faces two immense threats: climate change and biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same coin – it is impossible to solve one challenge without fixing the other.
Mr Johnson had snuck off during the summit yesterday so that he could watch the highlights of the final day of the third test
Mr Morrison said before the meeting that he had been expecting a ‘hard time’ from Mr Johnson after Ben Stokes powered England to a famous victory
‘We cannot stop climate change without protecting the natural environment and we can’t restore global nature without tackling climate change.’
But environmental campaigners questioned Mr Johnson’s commitment to the agenda following reports his Government is set to cut fuel duty.
Aaron Kiely, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘It doesn’t add up for the Government to commit to global biodiversity and pay the usual lip-service to the climate emergency while cutting fuel duty at home.’
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said the ‘tragedy unfolding in the Amazon should not be used as a PR stunt’.
He said: ‘The truth is that £10 million is an embarrassingly tiny contribution to deal with the situation in the Amazon which is part of the sustained anti-environment campaign being waged by a right-wing Brazilian government.’