BORIS Johnson and Carrie Symonds welcomed world leaders to the G7 summit in Cornwall this afternoon – with an elbow bump on the beach.
The beaming PM then stood pride of place beside Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron as the leaders posed for their traditional – but socially distanced – “family photo” for the first time in two years.
As hosts Mr and Mrs Johnson greeted world leaders on a light wooden boardwalk on the raked sands of Carbis Bay.
For the landmark occassion he wore a charcoal suit and light blue tie and Carrie wore a hot pink mid-length dress from Roksanda, a female London based designer, along with LK Bennett shoes.
Jill Biden joked: “I feel like we are at a wedding”. Later Johnson quipped that it was like “walking down the aisle.”
President Biden urged assembled media to go swimming, quipping “everyone in the water”.
Reporters asked him what his message would be to Vladimir Putin who he is meeting next week and he replied “I’ll tell you after I have delivered it.”
It turned out Carrie Johnson had spotted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swimming in the sea earlier this morning.
Johnson had also gone for a tip in the bracing water off the Cornish coast.
After the family photo of leaders, Merkel urged Mr Johnson ahead, telling him “you are the leader”.
But as Mr Johnson pressed ahead, President Macron took the opportunity to throw his arm around Biden’s shoulders and begin an animated discussion. His remarks were inaudible.
As the G7 kicked off:
World leaders have converged on Cornwall for three days of crunch talks where they will thrash out battle plans to fight coronavirus, climate change and global poverty.
Mr Johnson kicked off the summit with sitdowns with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, Italian PM Mario Draghi and and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.
It followed a jovial inaugural meeting last night with US President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill and his new wife Carrie.
Afterwards Mr Johnson hailed the transatlantic alliance as the “indestructible relationship”
He also praised the Biden team as a “breath of fresh air”, taking a swipe at Donald Trump who took a sledgehammer to diplomacy left the last G7 in carnage.
French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also jetted into Newquay Airport this morning.
They risk hijacking the summit to collar Mr Johnson about UK threats to tear up parts of the Brexit deal to quell rising tensions in Northern Ireland.
The PM yesterday blasted that “excessively burdensome” checks on goods arriving in the province – but said the G7 was not the place hammer out a solution.
Mr Johnson instead wants to focus on “building back better” from the pandemic, unveiling his flagship pitch to “vaccinate the world” by 2022.
He has called on fellow leaders to donate a billion jabs to poorer countries – and pledged 100million from Britain.
Opening the summit, the Prime Minister said the G7 economies had the potential to “bounce back very strongly” from the crisis.
He added: “But it is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession of 2008 when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society.”
There was a risk the pandemic could leave a “lasting scar” as “inequalities may be entrenched”, Mr Johnson said.
“We need to make sure that as we recover, we level up across our societies and we build back better,” he added.
After an afternoon of roundtable meetings the leaders will be treated to a lavish reception with the Queen at the Eden Project.
They will be treated to locally-caught Turbot roasted on the bone with Cornish new potatoes and wild garlic pesto with greens.