Liz Truss Says 'The Jury Is Out' On Whether Emmanuel Macron Is 'Friend Or Foe'

The favourite to be Britain's next prime minister – and current foreign secretary – risks damaging relations with French president.

Liz Truss, the favourite to be Britain’s next prime minister, has said the “jury’s out” on whether French president Emmanuel Macron is “friend or foe” to the UK.

The foreign secretary added that if she was to succeed Boris Johnson she would judge him on “deeds not words”.

It’s unclear precisely why Truss has taken umbrage at the leader of one of the UK’s closet allies, a fellow member of Nato and a vital trading partner.

But tensions have risen between London and Paris over the surge in migrants crossings the English Channel, with the UK accusing France of not doing enough to stop small boats.

It comes at a time of huge tension across Europe as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing energy crisis.

At the penultimate Tory leadership hustings in Norwich, hosted by TalkTV, she was asked whether the French president was “friend or foe”.

“The jury’s out,” she responded to loud applause.

“But if I become prime minister I would judge him on deeds not words.”

Leadership rival Rishi Sunak answered “friend” without hesitation when asked the same question.

"If I become prime minister I would judge him on deeds not words."
"If I become prime minister I would judge him on deeds not words."

Former Tory cabinet minister David Gauke reacted by saying: “There’s playing to the gallery and then there’s letting the prejudices of the gallery go to your head, especially when now is one of the worst times to try to fragment the West.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “A reminder that this is the woman who defended repeatedly Boris Johnson.

“She voted to let Owen Paterson off the hook, she didn’t resign over Chris Pincher handling and did nothing to stop his rise so I might hazard that she might not be the best judge of deeds.”

Also at the hustings, Truss said Johnson would be a better prime minister than Sunak after her rival said he would prefer to see her in No 10 than the outgoing PM.

Asked who she would choose out of the two at the hustings in Norwich, she quickly answered: “Boris Johnson.”

The response was met with loud applause and cheers.


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