Cameron and Juncker high-five it out at Brussel's meeting in awkward official photo

The pair went for an unconventional greeting in their first face-to-face talks after Mr Cameron tried to block Mr Juncker from getting the EU's top job

Photos of the uncomfortable moment David Cameron and Jean-Claude Juncker decided to greet each other with a poorly-executed ‘high-five' at Brussels have emerged this morning, just weeks after the Prime Minister tried to stop him from getting the top EU post.

The unconvincing photo gaffe came ahead of their first face-to-face talks after the Prime Minister unsuccessfully tried to prevent Mr Juncker from becoming the President of the European Commission.

Downing Street suggested Mr Juncker was responsible for the unconventional greeting, with a spokesperson explaining the moment thusly: "I think that's how Mr Juncker greets quite a few people.”

Mr Juncker was all smiles as he met with Mr Cameron for breakfast this morning who was defeated 26-2 by fellow EU leaders in a vote on his appointment.

In a bid to make it clear that Mr Cameron is ready to work with the new Commission president, Downing Street described the ‘high-five’ photo as "substantive, constructive and amicable" after it was released by the European Commission.

The awkward poses continued throughout the morning, with the former Prime Minister of Luxemburg appearing to go in for a half-hug at one point, before they both were photographed standing stiffly together.

Mr Cameron, who requested the meeting, used it to lobby for Lord Hill of Oareford, his nominee for Britain's place on the Commission, to be handed a key economic portfolio in Mr Juncker's team.

The PM has faced criticism over his choice, with Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, saying on Wednesday: “I cannot imagine Hill, whose views – in as far as he’s got any – are radically anti-European, getting a majority in the European Parliament.”

Downing Street said that Mr Cameron and Mr Juncker spent 40 minutes discussing the challenges facing the EU over the next five years, before being joined by Lord Hill.

"The Prime Minister set out his vision for reform of the EU and the UK's relationship with it," Mr Cameron's spokesman said. "Mr Juncker reiterated his commitment, set out in his manifesto, to work with Britain and the other member states to address the concerns of the UK over the next few years."

He said Mr Cameron had "underlined his preference for securing an economic portfolio that would enable the British Commissioner to play a pivotal role tackling Europe's lack of competitiveness".

Mr Cameron's spokesman stressed that the PM's opposition to Mr Juncker's presidency was always based on "arguments around principles and priorities and never anything else".

He added: "The PM has said very clearly that we will of course be working with all members of the European Commission to secure Britain's national interest."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'