Truss confirms Macron 'friend' and Putin 'foe' after leadership race controversy

"He is a friend" - Liz Truss rows back on comments made about France's Emmanuel Macron

Liz Truss has sought to improve relations with French President Emmanuel Macron by labelling him a “friend” – just weeks after refusing to do so.

The Prime Minister caused controversy during her Tory leadership campaign by failing to say whether the ally was “friend or foe”.

Mr Macron later suggested it was a “problem” if Britain could not call itself a friend of France.

But the Prime Minister adopted a different tone ahead of a meeting with Mr Macron in Prague on Thursday.

Vladimir Putin Credit: Russian Presidential Press Service/AP

She told broadcasters: “I work very, very closely with President Macron and the French government and what we’re talking about is how the UK and France can work more closely together to build more nuclear power stations and to make sure that both countries have energy security in the future."

James Mates reports on the summit meeting in Prague

“We’re both very clear the foe is Vladimir Putin, who has through his appalling war in Ukraine threatened freedom and democracy in Europe and pushed up energy prices which we’re now all having to deal with.”

Asked if the French President was a friend, Ms Truss said: “He is a friend.”