Boris Johnson tests the waters with Czech minister in boat trip diplomacy
The Foreign Secretary’s wide tried to persuade him to forget the venture over fears they may drown.
Boris Johnson has taken an impromptu boat trip with a foreign counterpart despite desperate pleas from his wife to stay on dry land for fear they would be drowned.
During a walk around the estate at Chevening House, the Foreign Secretary tried to encourage ministers from eight European allies to join him for a spin out in a rowing boat.
After Mr Johnson pushed the vessel out on to the water, wife Marina Wheeler tried to persuade him to head to the house with the delegation.
Taking him by the arm, the barrister said: “Come on, they have got a programme. We don’t want to drown… we are not drowning the foreign ministers, come on.”
But Mr Johnson soon headed back to the boat where he suffered a wardrobe malfunction more commonly associated with builders while holding it steady for the Czech Republic’s deputy foreign minister Ivo Sramek.
Joining Mr Sramek in the dinghy, Mr Johnson said the paddle would be a “tremendous success” before spent a couple of minutes rowing round the lake.
As well as the Czech minister, Mr Johnson was hosting counterparts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia at the grace and favour house in Kent for talks on European security.
He said: “Our departure from the EU will make no difference to Britain’s unconditional and immovable commitment to the security and defence of Europe.
“This meeting was a further demonstration that the UK is a vital partner in the security of our continent.”