Joe Biden hates Britain – at least that is what some corners of the Conservative universe would have you believe. The US President has been presented as someone so obsessed with his own Irish ancestry that he stokes a deep animus against the UK, made worse by Brexit and his difficult relationship with Boris Johnson.
It is true that Mr Biden was suspicious of Mr Johnson, who he saw as unreasonably close to Donald Trump. It is also true that the problems Brexit triggered in Northern Ireland angered US politicians across the spectrum, with Mr Biden particularly perturbed.
But surely the President’s fifth visit to Britain will put these rumours to bed. He had no need to stop off in London and Windsor on his way to the Nato summit in Lithuania on Monday: Mr Biden saw the King last autumn and has now met Rishi Sunak five times this year alone.
The truth is, at a time when the world is dividing once more into great power blocs, the Anglo-American alliance is as crucial as ever. Nato’s two largest military spenders, both staunch supporters of Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia, are united in chivvying along more reluctant Western countries.
Mr Sunak has scored a number of successes with his foreign policy – not least by taking some of the drama out of Brexit with a resolution on Northern Ireland.
The PM is spending today and tomorrow at Nato, missing a grilling in the House of Commons for the second week in a row. He will desperately hope he can replicate the statecraft stardust when he gets back to the UK – but he must know it is unlikely.