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Tory leadership favorite Boris Johnson labeled President Emmanuel Macron’s France as “turds” over the UK’s position on Brexit, a remark that was removed from a BBC documentary on the Foreign Office, according to the Daily Mail.
The paper claims to have seen a leaked UK government memo asking the BBC to cut the embarrassing gaffe from the final cut of a three-part documentary called ‘Inside the Foreign Office,’ which aired last November. The request was allegedly made as fears were expressed that it would make Anglo-French relations “awkward.”
Sir Alan Duncan, a foreign office minister of state who served under Johnson during his time as foreign secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that there had been a considerable amount of concern within his department about the documentary.
I imagine that there were discussions between the Foreign Office and the Beeb saying: ‘Please don’t put that in… or that, or that, or that, or that’. This was perhaps one of them.
Johnson quit as foreign secretary last year, citing his disagreement with Theresa May over her Brexit proposals, before the documentary was aired.
A BBC spokeswoman did not deny the claims, insisting that “…the production team made judgements about what was in the programme and they are satisfied that the programme achieves its ambition…”
It isn’t the first time Britain’s former top diplomat has allegedly made such distasteful remarks. He has previously called black Africans “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles,” referred to former US President Barack Obama as “part-Kenyan,” and talked about whisky exports in a Sikh temple, prompting outrage from many quarters, including from among his fellow Tory MPs.