The head of British diplomacy and the candidate for the prime minister of this country, when answering the question of whether French President Emmanuel Macron is a friend or an enemy, said that “this is still an open matter”. Liz Truss added that if she is elected prime minister, she will be “judged by deeds, not words”. Her statement aroused great controversy – both among opposition party politicians and conservatives. The president of France was also asked to comment.
Liz Truss spoke on Thursday evening in Norwich, during a series of short questions at the end of the penultimate of 12 meetings that the two candidates for Conservative Party leader are holding with members of the party. In response to the same question, Truss’s rival former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak replied that Macron was a friend.
The words of the British chief of diplomacy met with applause from the rank and file of the party’s rank-and-file members, but were criticized by some politicians – not only from the opposition Labor Party, but also from conservatives.
The counterpart of Truss in the Labor shadow cabinet, David Lammy, judged it to be “fatally lacking in judgment” and offended one of its closest allies. Former Conservative Deputy Foreign Minister Alistair Burt said Truss made a serious mistake and should have used more diplomatic words, and another conservative former Deputy Minister Gavin Barwell – that “you might think the Foreign Minister is unaware that we are in a military alliance with France“.
Macron: Britain is a friendly nation, independent of its leaders and sometimes in spite of its leaders
Truss’s statement was also picked up by the French media, which recalled the disputes in recent years between the two countries – regarding Brexit, actions in connection with illegal immigration through the English Channel or the AUKUS military pact signed by the United Kingdom with Australia and the USA.
Sam Macron, asked on Friday during his visit to Algeria to comment on the words Truss said that Great Britain and the British people will always be allies of France.
Britain “is a friendly nation, regardless of its leaders and sometimes in spite of its leaders,” stated the French president, quoted by Reuters.
– If France and Great Britain are not able to say whether they are friends or enemies (…) we will face serious problems – he added.
According to polls among Conservative Party members, Liz Truss is the clear favorite of the ongoing elections, the result of which will be announced on September 5. If he wins, a day later he will replace Boris Johnson as the prime minister of the country.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / TOLGA AKMEN