04:12 GMT17 January 2021
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    Then-UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly made the stern remark in exasperation at what he perceived as France’s irreconcilable stance on Brexit negotiations amid Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to secure a deal.

    The Foreign Office has managed to persuade the BBC to cut footage of Boris Johnson calling the French “turds” from the news outlet’s documentary, the Daily Mail reports.

    Johnson, who is one of two contenders for Theresa May's role as Conservative Party leader and UK prime minister, reportedly made the gaffe in a sign of frustration over France’s intransigence in Brexit negotiations.

    The crude remark, which was made by Johnson when he was UK Foreign Secretary, has been scrapped because it could damage Anglo-French relations and make Brexit talks more difficult, according to a Whitehall memo seen by the Daily Mail.

    “We negotiated the removal of one potentially awkward moment where the former foreign secretary calls the French 'turds' so as not to distract from the rest of the programme”, the memo, in particular, noted.

    Commenting on the matter, a BBC spokesperson, in turn, told the Daily Mail that the three-part fly-on-the-wall documentary “set out to reflect the realities of life inside the Foreign Office”.

    “The production team made judgements about what was in the programme and they are satisfied that the programme achieves its ambitions and has the content they wanted”, the spokesperson added.

    While the Foreign Office has not commented on the issue yet, Johnson, for his part, reportedly said that he could not recollect his describing the French as “turds”. 

    Johnson, who resigned in protest against Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint, is currently tapped as the overwhelming favourite to replace May as Conservative Party leader and prime minister after her announcement last month that she is stepping down.


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    Brexit, talks, France, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Britain
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