EU Brexit negotiator and former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has chimed into UK political discourse calling Brexiteers ‘elitist’ while mocking prime minister Boris Johnson.
Verhofstadt posted a Sunday Times sketch of a puzzled prime minister Johnson sitting at his desk saying ‘I can’t sack Dominic Cummings until he tells me to’.
Underneath the shot, Verhofstadt wrote: ‘Following the Cummings saga in the UK, this is spot on.’
Top Tory aide Dominic Cummings has come under increasing pressure to resign after it emerged he had travelled to County Durham from London during lockdown ill with Covid-19.
Cummings’ actions have prompted the resignation of junior Scotland minister, Douglas Ross, and united opposition parties which are now calling for an immediate investigation into the matter.
As press coverage on Cummings’ incursions intensified, Verhofstadt shared a controversial tweet likening Brexiteers to elitists.
‘Clear now there is one rule for populists like Trump, Bolsanaro, Kaczynski, Johnson and Cummings & another for the people they claim to represent,’ he wrote, posting a photo every leader bar the Polish politician Kaczynski.
‘By putting themselves above the law they set for others, they become the elites they tell us they rage against on our behalf!’.
His message was followed with a tweet by the former president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who shared: ‘This is apparently Cummings and his Brexit friends’ rule: that they leave when they should stay.’
Twitter users lapped up the comments. Marek McGann hailed Tusk’s post, writing: ‘Does Cummings have a fever? Nope, it’s just the heat from this sick burn.’
Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman called it ‘top trolling’. US finance editor at the FT, Robert Armstrong, labelled Tusk’s tweet as a ‘OH SNAP’ moment.
Fergus O’Rourke said: ‘Who says humour doesn’t span multiple cultures!’. Writer Ross McClure wrote: ‘Hahaha oh my Tusk is dropping bombs this week.’
@hotethnic called the tweets ‘funny’ if the matter ‘wasn’t so tragic’ while @fliss59 said she was ‘very angry and embarrassed to be British at the moment’ .