Boris Johnson has angered Spanish citizens and animal rights activists after claiming a ban on bullfighting is “political correctness gone mad”.
The Foreign Secretary made the comments at a dinner in Bath to celebrate Anglo-Spanish relations.
Bullfighting has divided Spain, with some parts of the country now implementing a strict ban on the practice.
One attendee said: “He antagonised every Spaniard there. They fumed for the rest of the dinner. Bullfighting is the subject of lively debate. Some parts of Spain have banned it.”
“The Spanish don’t like people painting a caricature of their country as bullfighting, flamenco and paella.”
Another Spanish guest is reported to have told a British MP: “He’s a clown. He’s not fit to represent your country.”
The Foreign Office was quick to issue a statement defending the comments and said: “The Foreign Secretary was expressing a personal view that he respects this Spanish tradition. However, he does not personally support bullfighting and he is proud the UK upholds the highest in animal welfare standards, including the ban on bullfighting in the UK.”