A former senior aide to Boris Johnson has been roasted on Twitter after she praised Brexit secretary David Frost’s intelligence and said his resignation is a “huge loss”.
In a series of tweets, Nikki da Costa claimed Frost is “one of the most disciplined, focussed and strategic individuals” she has ever met.
She said: A formidable brain but also a leader who, with Oliver Lewis, brought together talented officials to deliver the impossible. He has nerves of steel and somehow gave us faith to wait.
“On all matters EU, he had a keen sense of how and when to push things further – often the tempering voice advising the prime minister that a little more time was needed, or highlighting the complexity. He was rigorous in his management of negotiations on the government side.
“[He] adhered to the most rigid discipline on security and communication of sensitive information. No leaks ever originated from within his team. That gave this government an edge in negotiations combined with his understanding and fundamental belief in what was worth fighting for.”
She added: “A hard job – impossible for many, but not for Lord Frost – made impossible. Will always remember him and Oliver Lewis asking me for “just one more day” when I thought I’d scraped the barrel in what was possible for the Future Relationship Bill. But they did it…
“They had the nerve to stay at the table and to show nothing but calmness within government and to the EU. Formidable. A huge loss.”
Irish political scientist Brigid Laffan said David Frost “asked for very little” during the Brexit negotiations, “so of course got a deal but shafted the UK economy.”
“Nor was he regarded as formidable by those on the other side of the table,” Laffan said in response to da Costa’s comments.
Meanwhile, political writer Jon Worth warned Frost may soon be back to further chase his hard Brexit.
“Forget the ‘ah he jumped because he knew his Brexit had failed’ takes. This is the type of take that there’ll be in Frost’s head,” Worth commented on da Costa’s tweets.
He added: “He’ll see his exit as hastening Johnson’s demise, and with the right new leader he’ll be back to pursue his hard line further.”
“Journalist Lord Frost negotiated a deal that even he thought was shit. He failed, he’s gone. Brexit is a fiasco,” writer Will Black added.
One Twitter user said that anyone who sees the Brexit reality for the “calamity it is” should find da Costa’s comments amusing.
“Comedy gold! Frost’s genius was just misunderstood on the continent where they think he’s a clueless moron,” another user said.
A third added: “If Frost is so amazing why is he resigning after failing to renegotiate a deal he himself negotiated and now concedes is terrible?”