Macron privately called Boris Johnson 'a clown', according to reports
Anglo-French relations continue to struggle
A magazine in France has claimed that president Emmanuel Macron described Boris Johnson as a "clown" in a private conversation.
The political magazine Le Canard enchaîné, which is often described as the French equivalent of the UK's satirical news outlet Private Eye, reported Macron as saying Johnson has "the attitude of a vulgarian."
The publication quotes Macron as saying: "BoJo talks to me at full speed, everything is going fine, we have discussions like big people, and then he gives us a hard time before or afterwards in an inelegant way.
"It’s always the same circus."
— Pierre Briançon (@pierrebri) December 1, 2021
Macron is then said to have told his advisers that Johnson privately apologised for making France a scapegoat over issues such as migration, and described Brexit as the "starting point of the Johnson circus."
The French president added: "It is sad to see a major country with which we could do huge numbers of things being led by a clown."
He continued: "Brexit is the starting point of the Johnson circus. Very quickly he realised that the situation was catastrophic for the British. There was no petrol in the pumps, there were shortages of a whole pile of products.
"He is positioning himself as the victim and making France the scapegoat. He tries to turn simple situations into complex problems. We’ve been in this position since March. He’s done it over the ‘sausage war’, overfishing, over the submarine affair.
"In private he says he’s sorry to behave like this, but he says that he has to consider public opinion over everything else."
The alleged comments come at a period of tension between the UK and France, as the two nations clash over the current Channel migrant crisis.
The French president was angered after Johnson tweeted a letter outlining a five-point plan to tackle the issue of migrants crossing the Channel from France.
As a result of this, Home Secretary Priti Patel was uninvited to a meeting with the French interior minister to discuss the crisis. After Johnson tweeted the letter, Macron said: "We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public."
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