RUMOURS that Boris Johnson is being touted as a potential secretary general of Nato have been dismissed and derided by senior members of the SNP and Labour.

The Daily Telegraph this week reported that the erstwhile Prime Minister could assume the role if the incumbent - former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg - steps down in September next year, and may be favoured for the position due to “US distrust around any European Union figures taking the job given repeated suggestions of plans for a new EU army.”

The National: Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der LeyenNato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg speaks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Conservative MP and defence select committee member Richard Drax told the Telegraph: “Any distinguished Brit would be a great choice. If indeed that is what Boris Johnson wants to go and do, of course I would support that.”

Drax’s defence committee colleague Mark Francois added: “People will probably argue over Boris Johnson’s legacy for years – but one thing which is clearly inarguable is his absolutely staunch support for Ukraine in the face of Russian barbarity.

“If he were to apply to become the secretary general of Nato, I suspect he could rely on President Zelensky for a reference.”

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However, an unnamed Ministry of Defence source expressed doubt that Johnson would gain the appointment, due to the likelihood of a veto by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Responding to the report, the SNP’s vocally pro-Nato defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald voiced even greater scepticism, tweeting: “Won’t happen”.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also mocked the possibility of Johnson heading the nuclear alliance by referring to his controversial 2018 meeting with Alexander Lebedev, commenting on Twitter: “The man who secretly met a former KGB agent after a crucial NATO summit and can’t remember what he discussed or who he was with? I think it’s a ‘no’.”

Elsewhere on social media, the lawyer and human rights advocate Aamer Anwar responded to the Telegraph’s report by tweeting simply: “The End of the World is Nigh”.