British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have taken a month to embark on his first trip abroad, but he was quick to make himself at home in President Emmanuel Macron’s gilded palace, putting his feet up on the furniture.
Never shy to play the clown during his political career, Johnson was filmed joking to the cameras and briefly resting his foot on a coffee table at the Elysee palace, before waving at photographers in the room. Macron watched on, looking amused.
Brexit diplomacy: Boris Johnson jokingly put his foot on the table during a meeting with Macron at the Elysee Palace pic.twitter.com/6CiRz9e8U0
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 23, 2019
The scene took place after Johnson and Macron addressed journalists in the Elysee courtyard, during which Macron warned there was not enough time to wholly rewrite Britain’s Brexit divorce deal before an October 31 deadline.
The Elysee later said the talks had been “constructive” and “thorough.” During their talks, Macron told Johnson that there was not enough time to wholly rewrite Britain’s Brexit divorce deal before an October 31 deadline. Macron left the door open to Britain seeking a solution to the Irish “backstop”, but said any alternative must respect both the integrity of the EU single market and stability on the divided island of Ireland.
The internet was divided over the incident with some criticising the British PM for what he did:
And then you put your foot up on his table. Did you check it for dog shit first? Did they not teach you to keep your feet off people’s tables and on the floor at Eton?
— Mike Harding #RevokeA50 (@HardingMike) August 22, 2019
Foot on the table at Elysee palace whilst visiting French president #Macron.
Imagine the outrage on the British tabloids if a foreign PM did this in Buckingham Palace!
Did they not teach #BorisJohnson good manners at Eton? pic.twitter.com/AGFwjRbS0m
— Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) August 22, 2019
I’m sure when Macron said “make yourself feel at home”, he didn’t mean this….
— Derek Momodu (@DelMody) August 22, 2019
Oh my!. So rude…
— Geraldine O’Driscoll (@funkyger) August 23, 2019
But then there were others who defended Johnson’s actions saying it was little more than a joke:
Today’s debunked internet rager: The photo of Boris Johnson with his foot on the table.
In the Reuters clip, Macron jokes that the tiny table could be used with his chair as a recliner.
Johnson plays along.pic.twitter.com/3ssgTs3M39
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) August 22, 2019
WATCH: Here’s the Reuters video of Boris Johnson putting his foot on the Elysee furniture. It seems President Macron was making small talk suggesting the table would work equally well as a footstool should the PM want to recline, which Johnson then jokingly does pic.twitter.com/dnv37t9mS4
— Tom Rayner (@RaynerSkyNews) August 22, 2019
Well done Boris Johnson!https://t.co/BE2d8GWLUt
— ❌ Irredeemable_D.Sharp ❌ (@sh_irredeemable) August 22, 2019
How simple it is to misrepresent something in a picture? I now have to apologise to @BorisJohnson I rarely fall for this type of thing. Note to self, stop tweeting in a rage.
— John Fitzpatrick (@JFTAXI) August 22, 2019
He touched his foot on a table for less than half a second. He didn’t turn up to the meeting dressed as Hitler, he didn’t click a button that gave every baby in France an electric shock.
Foot. Table. Half a second.
Does your outrage not ever get exhausting?
— DSG (@thedsggroup) August 22, 2019
with inputs from Reuters