Foreign secretary Boris Johnson to meet French counterpart Marc Ayrault who called former mayor a liar during EU referendum

James Nickerson
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Johnson said it is inevitable there will be some "plaster coming off the ceilings" (Source: Getty)

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson will meet his French counterpart later today, a man who branded him a liar during the EU referendum.

​The French foreign ministry said: “This first trip to France by the British foreign secretary will offer an opportunity to discuss the most important international issues of the day on which we work closely with the United Kingdom, as well as our bilateral relationship, particularly in the areas of defence, counter-terrorism and border control.”

The meeting comes after Ayrault said that Johnson was lying during the EU referendum campaign.

He said: “During the campaign, you know he told a lot of lies to the British people and now it is him who has his back against the wall. He is up against it to defend his country and also so that the relationship with Europe is clear.”

He has since said Johnson behaved with "humility" at the EU summit in July.

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Johnson has said that it is "inevitable there will be some plaster coming off the ceilings in the chancelleries of Europe" but that "they are making their views known in a frank and free way".

Johnson has had a fairly torrid time of it since he took on the foreign office brief, first hounded by the press during a conference with US secretary of state John Kerry for being a liar.

Subsequently, Theresa May had to defend him in Germany against questions from the media, who asked her why, in football terms, why she put a player on the pitch who didn't want to play.

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The meeting comes as May continued with her own diplomatic trips, most recently to Rome, but after having been in Berlin and Paris. Conferences after each meeting stated they were productive, stressing that all sides hope for close relations.

May will continue on to Slovakia for talks with Prime Minister Robert Fico and then head to Poland for a meeting with Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.

Formal conversations are expected to take place early next year, when May has triggered Article 50.

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