Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

Boris’s charm wins over at awkward press conference

Fresh from banging his head on the door of Downing Street, John Kerry has just been speaking at a press conference alongside Boris. But it wasn’t the US Secretary of State coming to blows during the heated Q and A session at the Foreign Office. John Kerry might be heading home tomorrow, but most of the eyes – and the barbs being flung from the audience of gathered journalists – were aimed squarely at one man: Boris.

American journalists in London for Kerry’s visit appeared to see it as their sole opportunity to hammer the Foreign Secretary – and they certainly tried their best to make the most of it. There was much squirming – most of it from John Kerry – as the inevitable questions about Boris’ Lady Macbeth comparison of Hillary Clinton and his ‘part-Kenyan’ comment about Barack Obama surfaced. There was enough time for Boris to re-assure those gathered that he wanted to re-shape Britain’s profile as an even greater global nation. And when he was asked about Obama’s back of the queue comment, John Kerry was more eager to focus on the positives: he said he wanted to cement the special and unbreakable ties between the UK and US, going on to say that ‘These are more than words, folks’.

So, this was the good news to emerge – no one is going to punish Britain for Brexit, not least the Americans who won’t be shunting Britain to the back of the queue anytime soon. But what about the talking points from a memorable press conference?

Trade talks and Brexit won’t be on many people’s minds after watching this encounter. Instead, it’ll be the attacks on Boris – and his ability to let them bounce off him – which stand out.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in