LONDON — Nick Clegg says Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is a “mop-haired buffoon” who is embarrassing Britain on the international stage.
In a sit-down interview with Business Insider, the former deputy prime minister and ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats told us that he was dumbfounded by how Johnson has conducted himself while representing Theresa May’s government both in Europe and beyond.
In particular, the MP for Sheffield Hallam condemned Johnson’s “two-faced posturing” when it comes to claims he has made since Brits voted to leave the June referendum compared to statements he made for the Leave campaign.
Speaking to Business Insider on Wednesday, Clegg said: “It’s intensely embarrassing having this mop-haired buffoon as our foreign secretary who thinks it’s ok to frighten the living daylights of the British people by claiming 80 million Turks could turn up at Dover if we were to remain in the EU and then without the slightest smidgen of embarrassment fly off to Ankara and say to the Turks ‘welcome to the EU!’
“It beggars belief. I’ve never seen such unashamed and two-faced posturing.”
Johnson’s stint as foreign secretary has so far been ridden with gaffes, not least in his meetings with ministers and diplomats from other EU member states ahead of exit talks getting underway.
Italian minister Carlo Calenda last month said he felt insulted by the former London mayor for claiming Italy would be forced to sell less prosecco if Britain loses its single market membership. EU parliamentarian Manfred Weber described Johnson as “unbelievable” in how he has backtracked on the subject of Turkey potentially joining the 28-nation bloc.
It beggars belief. I’ve never seen such unashamed and two-faced posturing
Clegg, who campaigned for Britain to remain in the 28-nation bloc, said Johnson’s behaviour, along with fellow Brexiteers like Nigel Farage and Michael Gove, is damaging Britain’s relations with the rest of Europe at a crucial point in time.
“I think it doesn’t serve the country very well at all because it leaves people at best amused and at worst completely lost on what the intentions are of this government and our country,” he said.
“It’s as if we’ve taken this great leap in the dark and the pied pipers — Gove, Farage, Johnson, and so on — who successfully won the argument, don’t seem in the slightest bit responsible or bothered to try and explain what happens next.”
Clegg served as deputy prime minister in David Cameron’s coalition government until his party collapsed in the 2015 general election, losing 49 seats in the Commons. He then resigned and was later succeeded by current leader Tim Farron. We met up wth Clegg on Wednesday morning to discuss Brexit, working with David Cameron, Theresa May, and his party’s recent resurgence.
Check out Business Insider’s full interview with Nick Clegg on Thursday morning.
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