Tory MP Henry Smith Calls Vladimir Putin 'A Tosser'

06/09/2013 10:48
  • Ned Simons Assistant Political Editor, The Huffington Post UK
AP

Tory MP Henry Smith risked setting off another Cold War on Friday morning with his short and sharp analysis of the Russian president.

The Crawley MP was likely to have been responding to reports that Putin had dismissed Britain as "just a small island" that no one pays attention to.

The snub was reported to have been made in St Petersburg where world leaders, including David Cameron, have gathered for the G20 summit.

This morning Cameron hit back at the Russian leader, telling reporters: "Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience.

"Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.

Putin's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied that he was responsible for the comment, insisting it did not reflect the reality of Russia's views on its "positive" relations with the UK.

Cameron met Putin for a one-on-one meeting in the early hours of this morning in which the prime minister said he had a "candid conversation" about the crisis in Syria. He also said he "raised concerns" about gay rights in Russia.

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