Friday 24 March 2017

Sarkozy hasn't got time for media 'rantings' on marriage

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown greets French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the steps of 10 Downing Street in London yesterday.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown greets French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the steps of 10 Downing Street in London yesterday.

Joe Churcher

French President Nicolas Sarkozy dismissed media "rantings" about his marriage yesterday and appealed to the British media: "I love England -- don't make me regret it."

Mr Sarkozy was clearly irritated by questions at a press conference in Downing Street about internet rumours both he and model-turned-singer Carla Bruni were having affairs.

"You clearly have no understanding of a president's timetable -- I don't have a second to waste in these rantings, not even half a second," he told the French reporter who first raised the issue.

"I don't know why you would use your time asking such a question," he told him, and later entirely ignored a similar query posed by a British journalist.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with whom the president had been in talks at Number 10, made a point of thanking both Mr Sarkozy and his wife "for the personal friendship you have shown to me and Sarah".

France's glamorous 'first lady' was not present on this short political visit.

Mr Brown attempted to defuse the situation, saying: "I have been able to tell Nicolas that I don't believe everything that I read in the British press."

The mainstream French media has largely ignored the reports, which remain unverified, although one newspaper claimed they were the result of a hoax by a journalism student who wanted to see how far the rumour would spread.

Irish Independent

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