Friend or foe? Liz Truss slammed for 'jury is out' comment on Emmanuel Macron

Friend or foe? Liz Truss slammed for 'jury is out' comment on Emmanuel Macron
UK Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss. Credit: Belga

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been rebuked for saying that the "jury was still out" on France's Emmanuel Macron.

Her comment came when she was asked if the French president was a "friend or foe" of the UK at a Tory leadership campaign rally. The Conservative frontrunner stressed that if she were elected PM she would judge him on "deeds not words."

Criticism from both Labour and Conservative politicians has since poured in. Former Conservative minister Gavin Barwell questioned Truss' remark, saying it showed a hostile attitude to one of the UK's closest allies.

Another former Conservative Member of Parliament, David Gauke, voiced his discontent with the comment and accused Truss of fanning the flames of division in an attempt to please hard-right sympathisers.

Labour's David Lammy said Truss' comments showed a "woeful lack of judgement", adding that she had insulted one of "Britain's closes allies".

Truss's comments have been picked up by French news outlets, stoking tensions between the UK and France. Paris and London have been at odds over multiple issues recently, such as migrant crossings in the Channel, Brexit issues relating to Northern Ireland, and a military agreement between the UK, the US and Australia.

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The UK this summer criticized France for long queues at passport checks at the French border – a result of the Brexit deal that the Conservative government signed up to.

Last year, the French President reacted angrily to British Prime Minister Johnson's public call for France to take back migrants who reach the UK.

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