Salmond hits out at Boris Johnson over foreign policy gaffes

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond has called on Theresa May to clarify who speaks for the UK as foreign secretary, following a '˜growing list of official and public rebukes' against Boris Johnson since he took office.

Alex Salmond has criticised Boris Johnson over foreign policy. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Alex Salmond has criticised Boris Johnson over foreign policy. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The MP for Gordon has asked how many more of these “FFS” moments the Prime Minister will tolerate with Brexit negotiations looming.

Theresa May recently responded to questions about the security in office of Mr Johnson, saying that he was an “FFS” – a “fine foreign secretary”.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Salmond, the SNP’s international affairs spokesman, claimed Johnson has made a number of political gaffes which have left Downing Street red-faced, including in a private meeting with EU ambassadors where the minister stated that he backed free movement despite the government’s pledge to curb free movement and their silence on key positions before negotiations with the EU begin in March.

Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

The comments on free movement follow on from a previous interview with a Czech newspaper where he said that the UK will “probably” leave the customs union – another departure from the UK government’s position.

Last month Johnson engaged in a “prosecco wars” with his Italian counterpart after suggesting that UK demand for prosecco would ensure Italian support for the UK in European negotiations.

Salmond said: “The foreign secretary’s list of political gaffes is longer than the number of countries he has visited in his role as Foreign Secretary.

“May’s mantra of “FFS” about Boris now resembles Margaret Thatcher’s famous “MBC” - my brilliant Chancellor - about Nigel Lawson before she then sacked him. Does the fate of Lawson now await Johnson in 2017?

Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

“There is no doubt that Theresa May has repeatedly uttered “FFS” after nearly every meeting Boris has attended. “The question is; with the plethora of problems and challenges the new year presents to the UK government, how many more of these moments will she put up with?”