Boris Johnson needs to rein in his Generation Z instincts to repair relations with Emmanuel Macron after French election

You could almost hear the gritting of the teeth through the words on the screen.

"France is one of our closest and most important allies," wrote Boris Johnson in his congratulatory tweet on Sunday night, acknowledging French president Emmanuel Macron’s re-election over right-winger Marine Le Pen.

“I look forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world."

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Even by choosing Twitter as the platform by which to congratulate Mr Macron, Mr Johnson was perhaps seeking to antagonise his French counterpart.

The pair have clashed on every possible issue from fishing to refugee matters and Brexit, with commentators claiming relations have reached their lowest level since Waterloo.

But things got personal last year when Mr Macron very pointedly took the upper hand by denouncing Mr Johnson’s Generation Z-esque choice to publish an important diplomatic letter from the British Government to that of France on Twitter.

"We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public,” he said. “We are not whistleblowers."

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Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron are going to have to learn to get along.

It was clear from the outset that cartoonish buffoon Bojo and the immaculate, measured Mr Macron were never going to see eye to eye.

Yet, if Mr Johnson is to stay – and that is still a question that is being fiercely debated post-Partygate, perhaps everywhere except within Downing Street itself – he is going to have to change tack on his relationship with his French counterpart. Mr Macron is set to lead France for another five years. They will both be battling the fallout of Covid, a spiralling cost-of-living crisis and a politically divided country.

Yet, beyond domestic issues, what could unite them is the conflict in Ukraine. The two will have to put aside their differences to tackle the largest conflict Europe has seen in decades.

And so far, they have both stuck their necks out to do so. Mr Macron has positioned himself as a key figure in the peace process, while Mr Johnson became one of the first national leaders to visit Ukraine since the war began, strolling around the streets of Kyiv with president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Pic Lisa Ferguson 15/09/2015 Byline pic Jane Bradley
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They could find they have more in common than they think. Just as long as Mr Johnson doesn’t tweet about it.

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