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'Sorry!' Johnson puts foot in it at Macron's palace

Friday, August 23, 2019

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PARIS, France (AFP) An invitation to the gilded Elysee palace of France's president in Paris usually prompts a sense of decorum and formality in a visitor of any rank.

But not Britain's charismatic — and sometimes controversial — new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

During crunch talks over Brexit with French President Emmanuel Macron — who Johnson insisted on repeatedly addressing as “Monsieur le President” — the British premier joked and waved his hands flamboyantly.

And for one brief moment — immortalised by photographers — he leaned back in his chair, placed the sole of his right foot on a table as he sat down for talks with Macron.

The episode appeared part of a shared joke with Macron, who could be seen laughing heartily.

“Sorry!” Johnson could be heard saying, using a favourite word of any Briton, as he waved in the direction of the waiting media and began the talks.

In earlier statements outside the Elysee, Johnson had made a show of his trademark bravado as he played up links between Britain and France even as his country exists the European Union.

“Just as French buses ply the streets of London... it is also a stunning fact that your TGVs (high speed trains) run on steel rails made in the (northern English town of) Scunthorpe by British Steel!” he boasted.

“Not a lot of people know that!” he added.


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