BORIS Johnson accused Jeremy Hunt of dirty tricks after a leaked memo claimed he called the French “turds” over Brexit.
An explosive Whitehall document alleged the Foreign Office begged the BBC last year to cut the remark from a fly-on-the-wall documentary.
The memo, dated November 13, said: “We negotiated the removal of one potentially awkward moment where the former Foreign Secretary (Boris) calls the French ‘turds’ so as not to distract from the rest of the programme.”
Told yesterday that the claim appeared to have come from Jeremy Hunt’s department, Boris said “Well, I never” in French.
But he also said he had “no recollection of this comment”.
And he added: “The serious question perhaps underlying all this and perhaps what everyone will want to know is, can I get a good Brexit deal.”
A spokesman for Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt firmly denied any involvement yesterday.
But one Boris-backing MP claimed: “Of course it’s Jeremy’s lot. The thing is the Tory members love it. A leader calling the French turds over Brexit — what’s not to love?”
The incredible row came as leadership front-runner Boris:
- VOWED a shake-up to stamp duty as he laid out his vision to give Brits a pay rise by slashing a raft of taxes;
- PROMISED to axe a proposed “Milkshake Tax”, warning that it would “clobber” hard-up Brits;
- TOLD Remainers they risk killing off the Tory Party, after Digital Minister Margot James threatened to bring down the Government over No Deal, and
- CONFIRMED plans to increase education spending by almost £5billion if he makes it to No 10.
Mr Johnson told Tories at a hustings in Exeter that stamp duty rates were responsible for stalling the property market. He even appeared to confirm plans to abolish the levy altogether for homes worth less than £500,000.
He also reiterated his pledge to deliver a range of other tax cuts, saying he would raise the threshold at which workers start paying National Insurance.
And he criticised plans to extend the sugar tax on soft drinks to “sugary milky drinks”.
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He said he is reluctant to back a ten per cent levy on every 500ml bottle as it would “clobber those who can least afford it”.
Mr Johnson also visited a school in Highbridge, Somerset — where he was grilled by nine-year-old pupil Elijah Maxwell.
Meanwhile, Mr Hunt sampled cheeses at a farm near Exeter.
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