Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat seems to have a soft spot for the newly-appointed British Prime Minister-in-waiting Boris Johnson.
In an interview with Lovin Malta back in 2016, when Theresa May had just been elected Prime Minister, Dr Muscat was asked whether he was looking forward to meeting Johnson, who May had made Foreign Secretary.
“I think he’s a nice guy at the end of the day,” said Dr Muscat, with a big smile on his face.
“And from what I’m seeing in the first couple of interviews he gave, I think he’s getting to grips with the real world,” he said, reflecting on the public reaction to his latest appointment.
“I love that phrase he used of ‘the thesaurus of offences’ he has dished out over the years and that he cannot go on a litany of apologies. You know, he was a journalist. He said things, he wrote things,” Dr Muscat said, perhaps relating to the difficulties of getting into politics after a career in journalism which he too experienced.
“I see the British Prime Minister’s take on why she appointed him and I think she’s smart. I think she’s very smart in doing that,” he said.
British pundits saw the move as a way of weakening Johnson by getting him out of the country often, rendering him unable to organise backbenchers against her, while also forcing him to take responsibility for Brexit which he had campaigned strongly for. It was also seen as a move that could embarrass him because of the many comments he had made about other countries and leaders.
Johnson resigned his post in July 2018.
Muscat is a big critic of Brexit and even back in 2016 had made a point about how Britain did not seem to have a plan to leave the EU except for the fact that it wanted to.
Check out the full 2016 interview below.