Brexiteer criticised for 'Germanophobic' remarks about Airbus boss

PUBLISHED: 17:02 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 25 January 2019

Mark Francois MP rips up a letter from Airbus on BBC News. Photograph: BBC.

Mark Francois MP rips up a letter from Airbus on BBC News. Photograph: BBC.

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Tory Brexiteer MP Mark Francois has been criticised for "Germanophobic" and "xenophobic" remarks about Airbus' chief executive.

Appearing on the BBC’s Politics Live, Francois ripped up a copy of the Airbus’ warning in which he criticised the “madness” coming from Brexiteers.

The MP said: “Mr Enders’ intervention is a classic example of the sort of teutonic arrogance which is one of the many reasons people voted to leave the European Union.

“If he thinks, because he runs a big company, he can bully British MPs how to vote. He is going to be sorely mistaken.

“My father, Reginald Francois, was a D-Day veteran. He never submitted to bullying by any German. Neither will his son. So if Mr Enders is watching, that’s what he can do with his letter.”

Francois was criticised for his remarks which have been branded “Germanophobic”, while others complained that the BBC had given the MP airtime.

MORE: ‘Suck it up!’ - Tory Brexiteer branded ‘extremely rude’ after argument with Labour MEP

Writer Jonathan Coe tweeted: “I suspect what would puzzle and alarm the Germans most is not Mark Francois’s infantile xenophobia but the fact that an institution like the BBC nowadays gives him airtime and presents his views neutrally.”

Journalist Hugo Rifkind said: “Speaking as the descendent of people slaughtered in the Holocaust, half my family now speaks German, and I can say with some authority that the main lesson learned by most people in that amazing country since D-Day is sad revulsion for those who talk like Mark Francois.”

MORE: ‘Are you insane?’ – Mark Francois MP questioned over enthusiasm for no deal Brexit

Professor Tanja Bueltmann said: “10 years ago on this day I, a German, arrived in the UK keen to commit my life to this country and make it my forever home. Not only am I now forced to apply to stay, I also have to listen to a British MP, Mark Francois, and his reprehensible Germanophobia on live TV.”

Julie Owen Moylan wrote: “Mark Francois showing Airbus workers that he doesn’t give a crap if they lose their jobs because he lives in 1944. Brexiters are the equivalent of those Japanese snipers found in jungles years after peace was declared.”

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