The frontrunner for Prime Minister reportedly accused the French of being “turds” over Brexit. The former Foreign Secretary’s remark was supposed to be a feature in a TV documentary, the Daily Mail reported. However, the Foreign Office begged for the comment to be cut out the show, insiders have claimed.
According to the Daily Mail, a Whitehall memo said Mr Johnson’s comment would make relations with France “awkward”.
The memo read: “We negotiated the removal of one potentially awkward moment where the former Foreign Secretary calls the French ‘turds’ so as not to distract from the rest of the programme.”
Senior MPs believe French President Emmanuel Macron would have been furious by the comment.
They believe it would have made things difficult for the UK to get a good Brexit deal.
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The three-part documentary about the Foreign Office aired on BBC Two in November last year.
Senior diplomats were reportedly concerned by another attack on the French made by Mr Johnson, according to the Daily Mail.
The comment where he accused France of “shafting Britain” made it into the documentary despite concerns it would cause “significant damage”.
The BBC originally intended to broadcast both remarks after arguing they are an accurate representation of Mr Johnson.
But eventually cut the “turds” comment.
A BBC spokesman said: “The programme set out to reflect the realities of life inside the Foreign Office, the production team made judgements about what was in the programme and they are satisfied that the programme achieves its ambitions and has the content they wanted.”
The revelation comes as Mr Johnson’s critics gather evidence to suggest he is an unsuitable Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson has yet to comment on his remark being cut.