Tory MPs slam Luxembourg PM for ‘grandstanding’ press conference

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Conservative MPs have criticised Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel for launching into Boris Johnson during a chaotic press conference.

Mr Bettel went ahead with a press conference despite Mr Johnson saying a group of noisy anti-Brexit protesters made it impossible.

He was represented by an empty podium, and Luxembourg’s leader would frequently gesture to the podium when referring to Mr Johnson.

Mr Bettel said the Brexit situation was a “nightmare” and the European Union “needs more than just words”.

The Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer he understood why his son chose not to go ahead with the event.

“I have been in a situation on College Green where the noise is so great as you’re being interviewed that you simply cannot make yourself heard. You can’t even hear the questions at you,” he said.

“I’m very surprised that they couldn’t find a room big enough to have a press conference, bad marks to the hosts there.”

Former Brexit minister David Jones said Mr Bettel had made a “big mistake” that would embarrass the nation’s citizens.

He tweeted: “I have no doubt that very many Luxembourgers are dismayed by their Prime Minister's extraordinary behaviour.”

Sir Nicholas Soames was one of the 21 MPs removed from the Conservatives for voting against the government, and accused the Luxembourg leader of “unhelpful grandstanding”.

“Very poor behaviour by Luxembourg. Boris Johnson quite right not to be made a fool of,” he tweeted.

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