For release: Wednesday 4th January 

ATT'N NEWSDESKS

ALEX SALMOND ASKS “HOW MANY MORE “FFS” MOMENTS FROM BORIS JOHNSON IN 2017?”

IS BORIS BOUND FOR SAME FATE AS NIGEL LAWSON?

SNP International Affairs Spokesperson, Alex Salmond MP, has called on Theresa May to clarify who speaks for the UK as Foreign Secretary, following the long list of official and public rebukes against Boris Johnson since he took office.
  
Mr Salmond also asked how many more of these “FFS” moments the Prime Minister will tolerate as the New Year approaches with EU negotiations looming, Syria engulfed in civil war and Britain's arms sales fuelling conflict in South Yemen.
  
Theresa May earlier this month responded to questions about the security in office of Mr Johnson, saying that he was an “FFS” – a “fine foreign secretary” - despite his controversy-laden record since taking his position as Foreign Secretary.
  
The former Scottish First Minister has warned that, as the challenges of 2017 approach, the Prime Minister must set out who officially speaks for the UK abroad and to set out official positions after repeated statements from the government slapping down Boris.
  
Since taking office, Boris Johnson has made a number of political gaffes which have left Downing Street red-faced, including in a private meeting with EU ambassadors where Boris Johnson stated that he backed free movement despite the government’s pledge to curb free movement and their silence on key positions before negotiations with the EU begin in March.
  
The comments on free movement follow on from a previous interview with a Czech newspaper where he said that the UK will “probably” leave the customs union – another departure from the UK government’s position.
  
Last month the Foreign Secretary engaged in a “prosecco wars” with his Italian counterpart after suggesting that UK demand for prosecco would ensure Italian support for the UK in European negotiations.
  
Alex Salmond MP, the SNP’s International Affairs spokesperson, said:

“The Foreign Secretary’s list of political gaffes is longer than the number of countries he has visited in his role as Foreign Secretary.
"The UK government is already losing its standing on the world stage. Only this month the Prime Minister herself was left standing alone and isolated as EU representatives met in the room around her. The government must set out who speaks for the UK around the world.
“Is it bumbling Boris or the lonely Prime Minister with her list of Boris rebuttals?
"May’s mantra of “FFS” about Boris now resembles Margaret Thatcher’s famous “MBC” - my brilliant Chancellor - about Nigel Lawson before she then sacked him. Does the fate of Lawson now await Johnson in 2017?
“There is no doubt that Theresa May has repeatedly uttered "FFS" after nearly every meeting Boris has attended. The question is; with the plethora of problems and challenges the new year will present to the UK government, how many more of these moments will she put up with?”
  
ENDS