Boris Johnson denies claims he backed free movement in the EU

Boris Johnson has been accused of 'buffoonery'. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Boris Johnson has been accused of 'buffoonery'. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Boris Johnson has been accused of “bumbling diplomacy” after he was forced to deny telling European ambassadors that he supported the free movement of people in the EU.

It was reported that four EU diplomats claimed the Foreign Secretary had told them in a meeting that he personally backed free movement, putting him at odds with the government’s post-Brexit 

Issuing a strong denial yesterday, the Foreign Secretary said he told the ambassadors “very clearly” that immigration was good for the UK but that it has got “out of control” and free movement must end.

Former party leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have attacked Mr Johnson for treating voters like “fools” and criticised his “buffoonery”, while shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said they showed up the Government’s “non-strategy”.

Stephen Gethins MP, the SNP’s Europe spokesman, said: “It has been six months of silence from the UK Government on its preparations on negotiations with the EU.

“Worryingly the only comments from the UK Government have been consistently slapping down the Foreign Minister’s regular bumbling diplomacy and contradictory comments.”

Mr Gethins called on the Government to clarify its position.