Neil Kinnock reflects on Joe Biden 'stolen speech' row

The US presidency may seem like a world away from Wales, but there is one thing that links Wales to the presidential elections across the water.

Joe Biden's campaign to run for president was not his first - he first ran in 1987 against Ronald Reagan.

That same year, Labour leader Neil Kinnock addressed his party's conference in Llandudno giving what is now thought to be one of the greatest political speeches.

Not long after, on the other side of the Atlantic, Joe Biden gave a speech and it was very familiar.

  • Neil Kinnock speech footage courtesy of The Labour Party

He was looking to become his party's nominee to succeed President Reagan in the Whitehouse and took what some may call inspiration, and others may call plagiarising of Kinnock's words.

Unsurprisingly, after a Democratic party debate, controversy followed after he was accused of copying Kinnock's speech - but the Welsh politician has no hard feelings.

''It was amusement really, and I suppose it tickled my vanity a bit. We had a good laugh about it.''

Neil Kinnock remained leader of the Labour Party. Credit: PA

Senator Biden dropped out of the race, and soon after he had an operation to remove a large benign tumour after months of headaches.

''He said the fact that he used my words saved his life - Joe reckons this set of events saved his life.''

The friendship between the two 78-year-olds has grown into mutual respect despite it being sown from controversy.

''In 2007, I went to Washington, Joe greeted me at the door, and put his arm around me and said, folks come here, I want you to meet my greatest speech writer, Neil Kinnock, and we all laughed, it was a great reflection on the man's humanity and his willingness to have a laugh at his own expense.''

Joe Biden is running against Donald Trump for President. Credit: PA

Speaking on ITV Wales political programme, Sharp End, Lord Kinnock, said Biden is ''serious about the world.''

''He's a pleasant guy, doesn't take himself seriously though he's serious about the world.''

After losing the 1987 general election, Kinnock remained Leader of the Opposition. While he can reflect and look back and laugh, he has no plans to return to Downing Street even though Biden is running for a place at the White House.

''Certainly not, I've got the t-shirts and the scars for it.''