23:26 GMT29 November 2020
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    Former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind has suggested Boris Johnson might be more "comfortable" in another cabinet role after Downing Street was left with little choice but to distance itself from Mr. Johnson's controversial comments about Saudi Arabia.

    Sir Malcolm was asked by Britain's Radio 4 Today program if Mr. Johnson was fit to be foreign secretary, he replied: "The jury's out, if I can put it that way. This is early days. It's a question of his temperament."

    ​A question only the Prime Minister can answer after a rift between Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was exposed when 'BoJo' told an audience panel at a conference in Italy that he thought Saudi Arabia was "puppeteering" in the Middle East.

    As Britain's serving Foreign Secretary, the opinions of Boris Johnson are supposed to reflect UK government policy — not conflict with it.

    ​The footage, first published by London newspaper The Guardian, revealed the anti-Saudi Arabia rhetoric spouted by Britain's Foreign Secretary — about Britain's biggest ally in the Middle East.

    "There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives. That's one of the biggest political problems in the whole region."

    "And the tragedy for me — and that's why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area — is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves."

    ​After Boris Johnson's comments were published, Downing Street issued a stern statement distancing itself from the UK's foreign secretary's "personal opinions," especially since the PM had just returned from a visit to the Middle East for trade talks.

    Boris Johnson, who is a bit like Marmite, divides opinion; people either love him or loathe him.

    However, his recent outburst in Rome has won Bojo support from those who usually loathe him, best revealed on Twitter where the irony of his "truth telling" is not lost. 

    ​Yemen is slowly starving to death and British-made bombs are fuelling the crisis. RT to tell @BorisJohnson that it’s got to stop. #r4today pic.twitter.com/UMKWJGd6pL

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    Tags:
    rift, proxy war, puppet government, rhetoric, war, arms, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain, Yemen, United Kingdom, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, London
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