Boris Johnson deploys row boat diplomacy at Chevening House as he hosts European foreign ministers

Jack Maidment

Boris Johnson is no stranger to high-risk photo opportunities but his decision to take a fellow foreign minister out in a rowing boat turned out to be plain sailing.

The Foreign Secretary hosted senior figures from eight of the UK’s eastern EU allies at Chevening House, his official residence, on Sunday.

It came just days before a crucial EU summit which will see European leaders decided whether sufficient progress has been made on crucial Brexit issues to allow negotiations to move onto future trading arrangements.

Boris Johnson and the Czech Republic's Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Sramek in a row boat in the grounds of Chevening House Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Mr Johnson went boating in the grounds of Chevening in southern England with the Czech Republic's Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Sramek before attending a lunch meeting with some of his European counterparts.

Perhaps the most famous photo op involving Mr Johnson took place in 2012 when he got stuck dangling in mid-air while riding a zip wire as part of the London Olympic celebrations.

Mr Johnson donned a hard hat and waved two Union flags as he attempted to zip along the wire.

Marina Wheeler, Boris Johnson's wife, helps the Foreign Secretary onto a rowing boat with the Czech Republic's Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo Sramek Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

But he ground to a halt on the wire about 65ft from the end and was left dangling inelegantly in front of a watching crowd.

Another memorable photo op which did not go quite to plan occurred in 2015 when Mr Johnson flattened a 10-year-old Japanese schoolboy while playing a game of rugby in Tokyo.

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