Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has failed to condemn Donald Trump’s incorrect claims of victory in the US election.
With the race for the White House was on a knife edge, Mr Raab said he was confident in the “checks and balances” of the American electoral system and the contest was “too close to call”.
The UK’s top diplomat refused to be drawn on Mr Trump’s explosive claim that he had beaten Joe Biden for the presidency.
In a speech in the White House’s East Room, Mr Trump said: “We were getting ready to win this election – frankly we did win this election.
“So our goal now is to ensure the integrity for the good of this nation. This is a very big moment.
“We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we will be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”
Despite the election process being far from over, he accused opponents of being involved in a “major fraud on our nation”.
“Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise those people and we won’t stand for that,” the Republican incumbent said.
In a series of broadcast interviews, Mr Raab refused to intervene over the claims of fraud.
He told TimesRadio: “I think different countries have different ways that they approach the voting system.
“I know that there is obviously a heated debate about the balance and the propriety of posted votes versus votes cast in the ballot box in a polling station – I’m just not getting drawn into that.
“We are right in the heated aftermath where both candidates are making statements … if there are any contentious aspects around it, it is for the courts and the electoral college system to decide that.
“I’m not getting sucked in at all into that debate.”
The Foreign Secretary said there may not be a definitive result for days but the UK was “totally confident the American system has the checks and balances to give us a definitive result”.
“Of course, the UK-US relationship is in great shape and we are confident that it will go from strength to strength whichever candidate wins the election,” he told Sky.
Asked if it would be good to “call your close friend out”, he told the BBC: “Well I think that you’re now engaging in the campaign rather than just reporting on it.
“But the truth is, I think what’s really important now is we wait and see how this uncertainty unfolds.”
Following Mr Trump’s speech, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there were “crucial hours and days ahead for the integrity of US democracy”.
“Let’s hope we start to hear the voices of Republicans who understand the importance of that,” she tweeted.