Last night it was suggested that when Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary, he was caught on camera by a BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary saying that the French were ‘turds’ for their intransigence during the Brexit negotiations. According to the Daily Mail the Foreign Office then allegedly lobbied the BBC to remove the offending line from the documentary when it aired last November.
As shocking revelations go, being caught secretly insulting the French is probably not going to seriously harm Johnson’s prospects with the Tory membership. Nonetheless, speculation has already turned to where the story came from.
Johnson certainly fuelled the rumours today when he was asked about the incident during Tory leadership hustings. Asked by interviewer Iain Dale whether he remembered the scatalogical insult, Boris pled ignorance (to laughter from the audience) saying that he had ‘no recollection of this comment’.
But when asked if he suspected that the Foreign Office was behind the leak, Boris replied ‘bien je jamais’, roughly translated to ‘well I never…’.
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 28, 2019
We may never know who was behind the leak, but judging by the reaction of the audience, it seems that the Tory membership aren’t ready to dump Boris Johnson just yet.