A Tory immigration minister had an embarrassing moment on live television when he forgot what country he was from during an interview over border security discussions with France.
Immigration minister Chris Philp was speaking to reporters in Paris following the end of talks with his French counterpart.
The two minster had met to negotiate a new deal to end the flow of migrants boats crossing the English Channel from France but failed to clench an agreement.
Adding to his woes, he managed to confuse Britain and Germany in his interview before getting flustered and suggesting he start again, forgetting it was live television.
When asked a question on the state of talks, Philp said ‘France and Germany’ were working together in the spirit of cooperation.
He quickly corrected himself, saying ‘France and the United Kingdom’.
Not realising the broadcast was live, Philp then asked: ‘Do you want to do that last bit again because I got the Germany thing muddled?’
Despite the gaffe, the minister remained hopeful of striking a deal to curb the flow of asylum seekers taking the perilous journey to England.
He said: ‘We have worked on a joint operational plan — a revised, new operational plan — with the objective in mind of completely cutting this route.
‘We are going to be working at pace in the coming days to make that plan a reality.’
Britain has not ruled out providing more funding to France to help police their northern border.
Pascal Jacquemain wrote on Twitter: ‘Hi @CPhilpOfficial I thought there was advise from @MattHancock not to touch your face so as to avoid #covid19. Did you forget that too?’
@wendy posted: ‘When in doubt, or speaking pure bollocks, ruffle the hair and tilt the head winsomely.’
Sam Davies said: ‘New idiot pings up on radar!’