The title of the blog is rather an over-sell, as there has been no confrontation between the 78-year old former Thatcher adviser and the perma-tanned high street tycoon. (Although I’d happily pay to watch such an event).
So what do I mean?
David Cameron upset a lot of countries during his trip retracing the old Silk Road from Turkey to India.
His reference to Gaza being a “prison camp” infuriated Israel, while Pakistan were certainly unhappy about being accused of “looking both ways” on terror.
What we did not know was that the country taking greatest offence was probably France.
Nicolas Sarkozy was incensed by Cameron, during a speech in Ankara, comparing French opposition to Turkish membership of the European Union to General de Gaulle’s veto of UK membership in 1963.
Cameron’s claim that he was “angry” about Turkey’s bid being blocked went down particularly badly with the Elysée.
The diplomatic fallout was considerable.
Sarkozy’s team summoned Sir Peter Westmacott, the Paris ambassador, and demanded a written formal apology from Downing Street. Downing Street declined, but one official told the FT the episode was “a bit hairy”.