Boris Johnson has been criticised for congratulating the democratically elected Viktor Orban on his re-election as Hungary’s prime minister.
Posting on Twitter on Monday, Mr Johnson wrote: “Congratulations to Fidesz and Viktor Orban on winning the elections in Hungary.”
France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen also praised Mr Orban’s “great and clear victory”, ad did the Netherlands’ anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, hailing the “excellent result”.
But Labour’s shadow foreign minister Fabian Hamilton said: “Given the already damning reports from international bodies on how this election was conducted, it seems hugely inappropriate for Boris Johnson to congratulate Viktor Orban on winning it.”
Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader, blasted Mr Johnson, saying: “We would expect the Foreign Secretary to take these allegations more seriously and work with colleagues across Europe to investigate whether the election in Hungary was fair.”
Fabian Hamilton, the shadow foreign minister, said: “It is disgraceful that he has said nothing about the Fidesz government’s shameful record on political freedom, women’s equality and LGBT rights, or Orban’s Islamophobic rhetoric, antisemitic attacks on George Soros, and blatantly racist remarks about the diverse nature of other European countries.”
Viktor Orbán has promised to push through legislation targeting civil society, claiming his victory in parliamentary elections had provided him with what could be the strongest political mandate in recent Hungarian history and claimed NGOs and a biased left-wing media of being part of a plot orchestrated by the Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros to send millions of migrants to Hungary.