Theresa May slaps down Boris Johnson saying she backs British firms – as he admits he DID say 'f*** business'

Just days after the Foreign Secretary reported said "F*** business", the Prime Minister insisted she valued U.K. PLC as she addressed company bosses at a London summit.

She insisted the Government wanted to hear their views on Brexit, and promised she had "listened carefully" to them throughout the process.

Mrs May declared the Tory party remained the only one in their corner despite the fierce backlash over Airbus’ “siren warning” over Brexit.

The PM said in an attempt to rebuild bridges: "There is room at the top of the global economy for our country. You all have a vital role in helping Britain to get there. I want
business to be able to speak to us."

Lavishing praise on her audience she added: "A Conservative government will always listen to your voice and back you every step of the way as you help grow our economy and  create more good jobs."

Her comments came at the same time as Mr Johnson admitted he DID say "f*** business".

In the House of Commons Labour’s Owen Smith asked that in light of the “legitimate concerns” of firms like Airbus, Siemens and BMW about life post-Brexit, could Mr Johnson “remotely justify” saying in response: “F business.”

The Foreign Secretary did not deny that he had used the expletive, instead simply saying: “I don’t think anybody could doubt the passionate support of this Government for business.”

He added: “And it may be that I have from time to time expressed scepticism about some of the views of those who profess to speak up for business.”

At a Foreign Office reception to celebrate the Queen's birthday with European diplomats last week Mr Johnson was asked about British businesses after Brexit.

The Foreign Secretary was reported to have replied: "f*** business".

Sources close to him said he had been lashing out at groups such as the CBI who has been urging the Government to soften its Brexit stance.

Recently Airbus threatened to quit the UK over Brexit concerns, but Jeremy Hunt said their threats were "completely inappropriate".

Stephen Martin, director-general of the Institute of Directors, said today:  “Business will always be a critical friend to whoever is in government. Their concerns should be listened to, not dismissed, by politicians. The message from business is simple: less antagonism and more pragmatism.”

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