Jacinda Ardern has shrugged off a question about Donald Trump failing to offer his congratulations after her landslide election win.
The New Zealand Prime Minister said on Sunday that she received ‘lovely messages’ from world leaders a following her victory over the weekend.
Ms Ardern rattled off a few politicians that personally phoned to support her triumph, including Canadian leader Justin Trudeau and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
But when asked if she had heard from U.S President Donald Trump, the mother-of-one appeared to suppress a laugh.
When asked if she had heard from U.S President Donald Trump, Jacinda Ardern (pictured) appeared to suppress a laugh
‘I don’t tend to have those direct communications with the President of the United States,’ she grinned.
While the Kiwi leader wished Trump a ‘speedy recovery’ following his COVID-19 diagnosis in early October, the pair have clashed over the pandemic.
The U.S President took a swipe at Ms Ardern during a political rally in August, calling out New Zealand its ‘big surge’ in COVID-19 cases.
‘Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something,’ he told the crowd.
‘Big surge in New Zealand, you know it’s terrible, we don’t want that, but this is an invisible enemy that should never have been let to come to Europe and the rest of the world by China.’
Pictured: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting US President Donald Trump in New York on September 23, 2019
Ms Ardern was quick to fire back and said the claim of a big surge in cases was ‘patently wrong’.
‘Obviously I don’t think there’s any comparison between New Zealand’s current cluster and the tens of thousands of cases that are being seen daily in the United States.’
At the time, New Zealand has recorded just nine cases, compared to 41,894 in the U.S.
Ms Ardern led her Labour party to a landslide victory against her opposition during the October 17 election, leaving them free to form a majority parliament for the first time in 50 years.
With more than 90 per cent of ballots counted, her centre-left Labour Party had won 49 per cent of votes, enough to secure 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament, the country’s first majority since 1996.
The centre-right National Party had only 27 per cent of the vote and 35 seats, a disastrous result for the main opposition party which suffered its second-worst tally in its 84-year history.
Ms Ardern led her Labour party to a landslide victory against her opposition during this weekend’s election, and can form a majority parliament for the first time in 50 years
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives at an Auckland cafe the day after securing a landslide win in New Zealand’s election
Additional congratulatory messages came from Mette Frederiksen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez, and the Dalai Lama who offered his support via Twitter.
‘I congratulate Jacinda Ardern on her party’s resounding victory in the New Zealand general election,’ he wrote.
‘I admire the courage, wisdom and leadership, as well as the calm, compassion and respect for others, she has shown in these challenging times.’
While Scott Morrison was slammed online for failing to offer public words of support, Ms Ardern said he phoned her personally.
‘Scott Morrison was very quick off the bat last night but also reminded me of our wager today on the rugby,’ Ms Ardern said.
Politicians around the world, including UK leader Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among the first to congratulate the PM
Mr Morrison’s office said he privately congratulated her as soon as her victory was announced, and said the pair enjoy a ‘very strong personal working relationship’.
Critics condemned the PM for his apparent public ‘snub’ of the Kiwi leader, and described him as ‘churlish’ for not posting a message of support over the weekend.
‘Ardern has shown him up. She’s competent, compassionate and sensible,’ one person wrote online.
‘Still no tweet from Scott Morrison congratulating Jacinda Ardern? It seems a bit churlish to wait this long,’ another added.
Pictured: Ms Ardern and Scott Morrison during a joint conference in February 2020, where they discussed Australia’s stance on deportation
A spokesman for Mr Morrison said the prime minister contacted Ms Ardern on Saturday night and both he and his wife passed on their congratulations to her and partner Clarke and daughter Neve.
‘The Prime Minister contacted Jacinda Ardern last night and he and Jen passed on their congratulations to PM Ardern, Clarke and Neve, which they appreciated.
‘The PMs are both looking forward to the Bledisloe today at Eden Park where they have a carry over bet from last week.
‘The PMs have always had a very strong personal working relationship which will continue.’
Social media users have condemned the PM for his apparent ‘snub’ of the Kiwi leader, and described him as ‘churlish’ for not posting a public message of support
But Twitter has been alight with comments from disgruntled users who claim it is insulting that the leader of New Zealand’s closest neighbour is yet to publicly congratulate her.
‘Has Scott Morrison sent our congratulations to Jacinda Ardern yet? Or is he still under a doona somewhere? He does seem to be unraveling pretty rapidly,’ wrote actor Mark Langham.
‘Has Scott Morrison congratulated his counterpart on her thumping win yet?,’ asked Lucy Downes.
‘Have I missed Scott Morrison’s congratulatory tweet?,’ added Cathy Thomson.
Ms Ardern and Mr Morrison haven’t always enjoyed the friendliest of relationships and butted heads earlier this year over Australia’s deportation policy.
She previously admitted the policy could be ‘corrosive’ to the friendship between the two nations, after Mr Morrison expressed his intentions to deport criminals who were born in New Zealand.
Former Labor party leader Bill Shorten congratulated Ms Ardern on social media
Ms Ardern has insisted many of the criminals have ‘almost no connection’ to New Zealand.
‘In friendships there will sometimes be issues that can be corrosive,’ she told Newshub at the time.
‘Deportation continues to be one of those issues.’
The duo have also not seen eye-to-eye on climate change policy.
During the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu in 2019 – an independent island nation in the South Pacific – Ardern warned that the Morrison Government ‘will have to answer to the Pacific’ on global warming.
Her comments prompted conservative former radio host Alan Jones to encourage Mr Morrison to ‘shove a sock down her throat’.
Source: Daily Mail | BBC News & Gossip