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    Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly called French President Emmanuel Macron a vulgar word and “Putin’s lickspittle” during a heated exchange over the war in Ukraine, according to a former Johnson aide. Guto Harri, who was director of communications in Johnson’s 10 Downing Street, said that his boss became incensed when Macron questioned whether the UK was doing enough to help Ukrainian refugees early in the crisis. Harri said that Johnson launched into a violent attack on Macron, calling him a vulgar word and stating that he wanted to punch his lights out.

    UK officials were critical of Macron’s attempts to broker peace in Ukraine, including after a strained meeting with Putin at the Kremlin just before the war. Johnson found that meeting “nauseating,” according to Harri. However, after the war broke out, Johnson became a full-throated supporter of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Britain became a leading supplier of arms to his government.

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    Harri also recounted a telephone call between Zelensky and Johnson on the night that Russia invaded Ukraine. He said that the call was “massively sobering” and that the two leaders had an extraordinary bond and dark gallows humour as a coping mechanism. A spokesman for Johnson’s office declined to comment on the language used against Macron but stressed that the former prime minister was not involved in the podcast.

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