Argentina’s ambassador to the UK has launched a shocking attack on David Cameron, branding the Prime Minister “stupid and inefficient’ for criticising the Pope’s stance on the Falkland Islands.
Alicia Castro made her controversial comments during a speech to the Argentine senate. She was immediately asked by fellow politicians if she felt it appropriate to refer to Mr Cameron as “stupid” in parliament, but Ms Castro refused to go back on her words and later described Cameron as “foolish”.
British MPs today called on the senior diplomat to apologise for her remarks, with the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton Dominic Raab calling it at a “crass outburst”, before calling for her to say sorry “if she wants anyone in Britain to listen to her about anything ever again”.
Number 10 immediately dismissed Castro’s comments, referring to a referendum in spring this year as proof the islands should remain Britain.
A Downing Street source told the Evening Standard: “We don’t think it’s foolish to listen to 99.8 per cent of the [Falklands] population who have made it very clear that they want to stay British.”
Using the Spanish word Malvinas to refer to the Falklands, Castro said: “Cameron was so stupid and inefficient when Pope Francis was chosen as the new papal leader because he broadcast what people had been saying about the Malvinas.”
In March, Cameron criticised the Pope’s stance on the Falklands, saying he “respectfully” disagreed with the view that Britain had “usurped” the islands – something the Pope suggested while still a Buenos Aires cardinal last year.
Making reference to the aforementioned referendum, and the way the Catholic Church formally elects a new pontiff, Cameron joked: “The white smoke over the Falklands was pretty clear”.
At the time, Castro was furious with Cameron for voicing opposition to Francis I’s comments, saying “it is striking that he should dare to rebuff the Pope”.