(AP) – As Theresa May extols Britain’s close friendship with its European neighbors, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is being criticized for comparing French President Francois Hollande to a World War II prison-camp guard.
Johnson was asked about a reported comment from one of Hollande’s aides, saying Britain should not expect a better trading relationship with Europe once it is outside the EU.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) January 18, 2017
Johnson said on a trip to India that “if M. Hollande wants to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, rather in the manner of some World War II movie, then I don’t think that that is the way forward and I don’t think it’s in the interests of our friends and partners.”
British Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called the remark “crass and clueless.”
May’s spokeswoman, Helen Bower, defended Johnson, saying “he was making a point. He was in no way suggesting that anyone was a Nazi.”
— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) January 18, 2017