15/10/2017 20:43 BST

Boris Johnson Rows Boat With EU Minister But Not Everyone Appears Impressed

Foreign Secretary predicted a 'tremendous success'.

Boris Johnson risked a rash of unforgiving headlines as the Foreign Secretary took an impromptu boat trip with an EU counterpart that he confidently boasted would be a “tremendous success”.

During a walk around the estate at Chevening House, the Foreign Secretary tried to encourage ministers from eight European allies to join him for a spin out in a rowing boat. 

PA Wire/PA Images

According to the Press Association, Johnson’s wife Marina Wheeler tried to persuade him to head to the house with the delegation as the minister pushed the vessel out on to the water.

“Come on, they have got a programme,” she said, aware of the potential pitfalls on many levels.

“We don’t want to drown… we are not drowning the foreign ministers, come on.”

Undeterred, Johnson took to the water with the Czech Republic’s deputy foreign minister Ivo Sramek.

PA Wire/PA Images
PA Wire/PA Images

As he joined Sramek in the dinghy, Johnson said the paddle would be a “tremendous success”.


The pair spent a couple of minutes rowing round the lake.

PA Wire/PA Images

Johnson’s messing about on boats was among the best in the canon, according to early reviews. 

Others thought they might have been given a sneak preview of a recently publicised plan.

And one Tory MP did not have a good feeling about any of this.

On dry land, the Press Association reported how “most of the ministers” clapped as the duo returned to terra firma.


The operative word was “most” however. Not all.


Row boat diplomacy, eh?