Macron privately called Boris Johnson a “clown”, according to French magazine

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French President Emmanuel Macron called Boris Johnson in a private conversation a “clown”, according to reports in France.

The political magazine Le Canard enchaîné, often described as the French equivalent of Private Eye, reported that Macron had said that the British Prime Minister had “the attitude of a vulgar”.

It came as Macron complained about Johnson’s behavior after leaders spoke by phone after a refugee boat sank in the English Channel last Wednesday.

The French president was angry after Johnson tweeted a letter outlining a five-point plan to tackle the Channel crossings issue. “I spoke two days ago with Prime Minister Johnson in a serious manner,” Macron said at a press conference on Friday after the tweet. “For my part, I continue to do it, as I do with all countries and all leaders. I am surprised by the methods when they are not serious. We do not communicate from leader to leader on these issues through tweets and letters that we make public.

But according to the magazine, the president was even more damning in private. He quoted it as saying, “BoJo is rushing to me, everything is fine, we have discussions like grown-ups, and then he gives us a hard time before or after in an inelegant way.” It’s still the same circus.

He added that Macron told his advisers Johnson had apologized privately for making France a public scapegoat on issues such as the Channel crossings and the “sausage war.”

Macron reportedly said: “It’s sad to see a big country that we could do a lot of things with being run by a clown. “

It came as former French Ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann told Times Radio that relations between France and the UK have “never been so bad since Waterloo”.

The French president has also blamed Johnson’s attitude on France for the shortcomings of the Brexit deal.

Macron reportedly said: “Brexit is the starting point of the Johnson circus. Very quickly he realizes that the situation is catastrophic for the British. There was no gasoline in the pumps, there was a shortage of a whole bunch of products.

“He positions himself as a victim and makes France the scapegoat. He tries to turn simple situations into complex problems. We have been in this position since March. He did it for the “sausage war”, for the fishery, for the submarine affair.

“In private he says he’s sorry for behaving like this, but he says he has to consider public opinion above all else. “

Asked after Bermann’s comments whether Johnson and Macron were friends, the PM’s spokesman said: “The PM has been asked about this on several occasions and spoke of his close relationship … of his working relationship with President Macron. “

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