Boris Johnson Called Emmanuel Macron A 'C***' Over Ukraine Refugee Row, Says Former Aide

The former PM said he wanted to "punch his lights out".
Boris Johnson with Emanuel Macron on a happier occasion.
Boris Johnson with Emanuel Macron on a happier occasion.
Pool via Getty Images

Boris Johnson called Emmanuel Macron a “c***” and wanted to “punch his lights out” after the French president criticised the UK’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, according to a former aide.

Guto Harri, who was Johnson’s chief spin doctor, said the former prime minister said Macron was “Putin’s lickspittle” and demanded “an orgy of frog bashing” in response.

The row erupted just weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

Amid criticism of the UK’s failure to take in more refugees fleeing the war, Macron accused the British government of failing to live up to its “grand statements”.

“I would hope that the Ukrainian men and women who have lived through horror and crossed Europe to reach their families on UK territory will be better treated,” he said.

In the latest episode of his ‘Unprecedented’ podcast detailing life inside Johnson’s No. 10, Harri said: “There were tensions early on when people like Emmanuel Macron of France went to Moscow to talk to Putin. I think Boris described it privately as ‘nauseating’.

“And meanwhile, I think Macron was feeling the tension from Boris seemingly doing the running with helping Ukraine militarily.

“So, when the British press was giving the British government a hard time over our response to the refugee crisis, Macron turbocharged it by criticising Boris pretty directly and his words were all over the front page of The Guardian on a Friday, I think.

“And much as Boris is not prone to getting really cross, nor using particularly strong language, this was one where he really flipped and at our morning meeting, I think with a small gang of us he just launched into a violent attack on Emmanuel Macron.

“Basically, saying ‘he’s a four-letter word that begins with C, he’s a weirdo, he’s Putin’s lickspittle. We need to go studs up on this one’ - a rugby term that basically means, gloves off – ‘We need an orgy of frog bashing. I’m going to have to punch his lights out.’ Pretty strong stuff.

“And I’m pleased to say weeks later, of course, they had patched it up. They got on really well. They actually went for a whisky together at the G7 summit.”

Harri revealed last week that Johnson had wanted to send Rishi Sunak a video calling him a “c***” after he resigned as chancellor.

He said: “Rishi walked out. Didn’t even tell Boris he was going to go. Basically, he went public with a resignation.

“And a few days later, Boris found a little video on the internet that expressed what he wanted to say to Rishi. He didn’t send it, but he sent it to me and said, ‘thinking of sending this to Rishi’. Video plays: ‘you’re a c***.’

“So, there you have it. If you really want to know how Boris Johnson felt about Rishi Sunak in the immediate aftermath of his toppling and the great betrayal of all time as he sees it, there you have it.”


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