UK

Boris Johnson Tells Friends He Believes Number 10 'Is After Him'

But does May have 'too much invested' in Johnson?

17/12/2016 11:49 GMT
POOL New / Reuters
Boris Johnson has confided in friends over an alleged rift between him and Downing Street

Boris Johnson has told friends he believes Number 10 is “after him” following a serious of gaffes and disagreements, it has been reported.

It comes after a tumultuous few weeks for the Foreign Secretary who has been publicly slapped down by Downing Street for comments over Saudi Arabia, and joked about the Prime Minister’s controversial choice of trousers.

Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrive for a ceremony in November

And on Wednesday, Theresa May used Prime Minister’s Questions to quip: “[Boris Johnson] is in short a FFS - a fine foreign secretary.”

One senior Tory told website PoliticsHome: ‘Boris is worried about it. When I saw him this week, he said: ‘Number 10 are after me’.

“The way he’s being treated is ridiculous. If Theresa... wanted a different type of Foreign Secretary then she shouldn’t have appointed him. But she has too much invested in him now to allow him to be undermined in this way.”

Toby Melville / Reuters
Johnson made a joke about the Prime Minister's controversial choice of trousers

Johnson used a speech at a reception for ambassadors at the Foreign Office to make fun of May for her choice of £995 leather trousers.

“We are so cosmopolitan that we drink more champagne, more prosecco, buy more German cars than anyone else,” he said. “And our wonderful Prime Minister actually wears lederhosen.”

May also recently slapped down Johnson after he voiced public criticism of Saudi Arabia.

Footage emerged Johnson lumping the state in with Iran when he raised concerns about “puppeteering” in the region.

He was addressing a conference in Rome when he talked of politicians “twisting and abusing religion” to further their political aims.

And Johnson recently clashed with the prime minister over his call for foreign students to be taken out of he pledge to cut immigration to under 100,000.

He told Andrew Marr the prime minister was wrong to include student numbers in immigration figures.