Boris Johnson is embarrassing the UK with his behaviour towards European leaders, including the “arrogance” of putting his feet on Emmanuel Macron’s table, Alastair Campbell has said.
The former communications director for Tony Blair said that Mr Johnson has been revealed to be a leader who does not know what he wants from his Brexit negotiations, after hearing “very, very awkward truths” from the leaders of France and Germany.
Mr Johnson, who was told by President Macron that the Irish backstop was “indispensable” to maintaining political stability and the single market, has also met Angela Merkel.
Speaking to the PA news agency after a People’s Vote rally in Edinburgh, Mr Campbell said: “It’s embarrassing that the newly-elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom takes so long to go and see the German Chancellor and French President and then sticks his feet up on the President’s table.
“It might sound trivial but it just shows a complete arrogance and disrespect.
“It also takes away attention from what Angela Merkel did yesterday and what President Macron did today in pointing out some very, very awkward truths about Johnson’s so-called negotiating position.”
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) August 22, 2019
Mr Cambell, who was expelled from the Labour Party after revealing he voted Lib Dem at the European elections in protest at his former party’s Brexit stance, said that Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement was “hard-fought on both sides” and that the new British Prime Minister was “delusional” to think EU leaders would offer the UK a new deal.
Labour MP Jess Phillips told the People’s Vote rally that if opposing Brexit costs her her seat, she would gladly sacrifice it to protect her constituents’ jobs.
Accusing Mr Johnson of not caring if Brexit plunges the country into recession and costs jobs, Ms Phillips hit out at people criticising her for opposing Brexit.
She added: “It is not treachery to care about those people’s jobs, their homes, their hospitals.
“It is not treachery to care about them having enough to eat, that the medicines they need will be delivered as it always has been.
“I am not a traitor for caring about the people where I live and if it costs me my job because I represent a ‘Leave’ constituency, their jobs matter much more to me than mine.
“Doing the right thing sometimes comes at a cost and Boris Johnson wouldn’t have the first idea about doing the right thing, because the right thing for him is whatever is best for Boris Johnson, not for you or your families.”
Ms Phillips said: “The greatest lie that Boris Johnson has told – and let’s face it, there’s quite a hit parade of them, especially if you were married to him – is that on October 31, if we leave, it will be done.
“But if we leave with a no-deal on October 31, that isn’t the end of Brexit.”
Describing the Prime Minister as a “man-baby”, she said: “He just wants to look a bit tough and say I don’t care, we’ll leave no matter what.”
“The dream died when they realised they had to deliver Brexit and what they promised couldn’t be delivered.”@IanMurrayMP speaks at our #LetUsBeHeard rally in Edinburgh. The only way through this #Brexit crisis is a #PeoplesVote pic.twitter.com/hM9gKcFWMb
— People's Vote UK (@peoplesvote_uk) August 22, 2019
In front of a crowd of hundreds on The Meadows, Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, said: “I just came back from the Teapot Trust who work with terminally sick kids – and what’s the best Boris Johnson can say to them? That they might just have enough medicines to get by.
“The promises they made cannot be kept, and reality has kicked in.”