Senior Labour Party figures have attacked the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for congratulating conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on winning the Hungarian election, claiming he is “Islamophobic” as well as against women and LGBT people.
Mr. Orbán’s nationalistic and eurosceptic party swept to victory over the weekend, handing him a third term as prime minister. Posting on Twitter on Monday, Mr. Johnson wrote:
“Congratulations to Fidesz and Viktor Orbán on winning the elections in Hungary.
“We look forward to working with our Hungarian friends to further develop our close partnership.”
Congratulations to Fidesz and Viktor Orban on winning the elections in Hungary. We look forward to working with our Hungarian friends to further develop our close partnership. #UKandHungary
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 9, 2018
Labour Shadow Foreign Minister Fabian Hamilton, also known as the ‘Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament’, hit back, saying:
“Given the already damning reports from international bodies on how this election was conducted, it seems hugely inappropriate for Boris Johnson to congratulate Viktor Orbán on winning it.”
He also claimed it was “disgraceful” of Mr. Johnson not to attack the Hungarian government for an alleged “shameful record on political freedom, women’s equality and LGBT rights” or Prime Minister Orbán’s “Islamophobic rhetoric”.
Labour MP Peter Kyle of the anti-Brexit group Open Britain, added: “It seems there’s not a single authoritarian leader Boris Johnson won’t pander to in pursuit of his hard Brexit fantasy. Viktor Orbán in Hungary is just the latest.
UPDATE: With 85% of votes counted, Hungary's anti-globalist, anti-Soros premier Viktor Orban has won third term in landslide election victory; super-majority likely https://t.co/qzxmsJY1Dz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 8, 2018
“This is all eerily reminiscent of Boris Johnson’s shameless sucking up to Donald Trump. It demeans our country and it’s not worthy of his position as Foreign Secretary.
“If Brexit means we are loosening ties with our traditional allies in Europe while cosying up to demagogues and populists across the world, people have every right to ask whether it’s really the right path for the country.”
Former Labour minister Lord Adonis, currently working to block Brexit, said: “This is a deeply inappropriate statement by Boris Johnson.
“Viktor Orbán is a dangerous man, whose anti-Semitism and Putin worship is a threat to democracies all over Europe.
“The best message he could send is to say we’re staying in the EU and, alongside out European friends, will stand up to Orbán’s authoritarianism.”