UK & World News
PM Accused Of 'Incompetence' In Secret Tapes
David Cameron "does not get" Europe and has shown "incompetence in European affairs", according to a leaked conversation between Polish politicians.
The Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski was scathing about Mr Cameron's promise to try and renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe.
He said: "It's either a very badly thought through move or, not for the first time, a kind of incompetence in European affairs.
"Remember? He f***** up the fiscal pact. He f***** it up. Simple as that.
"He is not interested, he does not get it, he believes in the stupid propaganda, he stupidly tries to play the system."
The assessment will be a blow to Mr Cameron, who has vowed to claw back powers from Brussels ahead of a 2017 referendum if he wins the next election.
In the secret recording, the former Polish Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said he does not believe that will happen.
The two men also appeared to be resigned to the fact that Britain may leave the European Union.
Mr Rostowski said: "For the Polish government to agree (to renegotiation) someone will have to give us some mountain of gold.
"The Brits won't give it to us, and the Germans, in order to keep the Brits on board, won't give it to us either in all likelihood.
"So the answer will be: f*** off... (the impact of a British exit) will generally be bad for us, because we would like Great Britain to stay.
"I think it'll be the case that (Cameron) will lose the elections. Great Britain will leave. Once they do, they'll keep open borders."
Downing Street has refused to comment on leaked conversations.
The secret recordings have caused a significant political scandal in Poland, and it remains unclear who made the tapes and what the motivation was.
In a separate conversation with Jacek Krawiec, head of Poland's largest oil and gas conglomerate, Pawel Gras, Prime Minister Donald Tusk's then media spokesperson referred to David Cameron's comments about Polish migrants claiming benefits in the UK.
Mr Krawiec said: "What the f*** are they on about with these benefits? (Cameron) seems a really sensible bloke ... when I met him in London he talked a lot of sense."
Mr Gras replied: "Thoughtless, probably suggested by some (spin doctor), probably came from some focus group, he didn't think through the consequences, the whole thing was stupid, Donald called him at once to discuss it, he had such a go at him, I mean f*** it's a shame we didn't record it, he had a such a proper f***** go at him."
The timing of the leaks is embarrassing for the Prime Minister because he plans to call an unprecedented vote at a Brussels summit on Friday on the next President of the European Commission.
David Cameron is hoping for the support of some European allies in his attempts to block the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker to the top job.