Boris Johnson is a liability undermining Britain’s credibility, Labour says

John McDonnell criticised the Foreign Secretary’s approach

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Boris Johnson is a “liability” who is undermining Britain’s credibility abroad, Labour has said. 

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell warned that the Foreign Secretary’s performance over Russia and Syria – and failed attempt to push for new sanctions – was reflective of “poor judgment”.  

“The idea of going along to the G7 to try and put together a coalition around sanctions was never going to succeed. It was a bad policy decision by Mr Johnson. It should never have happened,” Mr McDonnell told Sky News.

“He should have gone to Moscow. When he went to Moscow he should have been clear with the Russians just how much we condemn what Assad has done, and what they’ve done in support of Assad, but try to get them back to the negotiating table.

“I’m hoping the initiative now by the Trump regime and others is going to enable that to happen. It’s a pity Mr Johnson made such a poor judgment of this matter.”

Mr Johnson was last week accused by domestic politicians and the Kremlin of being a “poodle” to the US after he cancelled his own visit to Russia to make way for US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

The Foreign Secretary was also humiliated at a G7 meeting in Italy after he publicly pushed for sanctions on Syria and Russia but was rebuffed by his European allies.

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John McDonnell criticised the Foreign Secretary (Getty)

Tory MP Alistair Burt, who was formerly a junior foreign office minister, however told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the issue was “not about Boris Johnson”.

“What is most important here is that we try to find a way to end this conflict in which one out of two Syrians have either died or been displaced. It is going to be very difficult,” he said.

“It does involve some difficult and distasteful calculations, perhaps with Russia and Iran, but the main focus should not be on an intergovernmental spat about whether or not Boris Johnson has been humiliated.”

Mr Tillerson is now in Russia for talks over the country’s involved in the Syrian conflict.

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