“Ignore Boris Johnson”, Foreign Office officials tell Irish government
Sky News has learnt that Foreign Office officials told Ireland’s Government “not to listen to whatever he had to say” ahead of Mr Johnson’s visit to Dublin a few weeks ago.
Extraordinarily, officials in Whitehall were very open with their counterparts in the Irish capital to “ignore the public utterances” of Britain’s chief diplomat.
Ahead of the visit, Irish officials were told “not to mind a word of what he says” – implying the Foreign Secretary was not speaking on behalf of the UK Government.
It further adds to the apparent frustration from politicians in Dublin about “confusing messages” from the UK Government on Irish border issues.
Earlier this week, Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, was accused of displaying a worrying lack of knowledge by former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern.
The revelation that Foreign Office officials are willing to be so dismissive of their boss to foreign governments will be a further blow to the Foreign Secretary.
Boris Johnson has committed a number of high-profile gaffes in recent months, while there are suggestions many within his department are unhappy with his performance since he was appointed last year.
In recent months, the Foreign Secretary has been accused of reciting an “inappropriate” poem in Myanmar and making a crass comment about those who have died in Libya.
He has also been forced to apologise for his “mistake” over the case of imprisoned British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.