Amber Rudd: Jean-Claude Juncker is 'grotesque' and 'ghastly'

Posted On: 
22nd December 2018

Jean-Claude Juncker is "grotesque" and "ghastly" and his behaviour at least week's EU summit should have prompted an official complaint, Amber Rudd has said.

Amber Rudd has hit out at Jean-Claude Juncker.
Credit: 
PA Images

The EU Commission president came under fire last week for ruffling the hair of a female official as he greeted her in Brussels.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Work and Pensions Secretary Ms Rudd said: “(He’s) ghastly. What I minded before that were those pictures of the way he was holding the Prime Minister. I did not like that.”

WATCH: Amber Rudd says second Brexit referendum ‘plausible’ if Theresa May’s deal fails

Theresa May accused of trying to 'intimidate' MPs over warnings to change diet after no-deal Brexit

Cabinet minister hints that he could quit if Theresa May backs no-deal Brexit

Commenting on the hair incident, Ms Rudd said: It’s grotesque. I mean, if that happened in our Parliament I hope there would be a formal complaint. When I used to go to the EU for meetings, I often had a terrible cold to insist that I didn’t get enveloped in a bear hug. All the EU commissioners love doing their big hugs."

Elsewhere in the interview, Ms Rudd said that Commons Speaker John Bercow "is increasingly looking like a man who has some questions to answer about some of the comments he’s made to some of my colleagues".

The leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, hit out at Mr Bercow for calling her a "stupid woman" during a furious clash after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was accused of using the same phrase towards the Prime Minister.

Ms Rudd also insisted she did not support a second EU referendum, despite telling ITV last week that it may be the only "plausible" way to break the Brexit deadlock.

She said: "It’s easy to be misquoted on this but I don’t want a second referendum. I don’t think it would be helpful. We would go into freefall in a way, nobody knows what the outcome would be."

However, Ms Rudd added: "If this agreement doesn’t get through then all sorts of other things could be brought forward and we all know what they are, there’s lots of different options. And one of the ones I’ve mentioned is a second referendum."