Johnson broke with the Tory party’s “strong and stable” sentiments when he admitted to Libyan military chiefs in Benghazi the prime minister should not have called June’s snap election.
The Foreign Secretary arrived in Benghazi on Wednesday on a two-day diplomatic mission to encourage Libya’s embittered rival parties to reach a compromise and unite the nation.
“They need to glue back together the two sides of the country, they need to come together with a political agreement”.
Their faltering performance inadvertently provided a moment of levity ahead of talks between the Foreign Secretary and Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army.
Johnson spoke in Benghazi, where the 2011 revolution started, and an area which has seen brutal conflict and the displacement of thousands.
The attacks which allowed rebels to overthrow the dictator and militias to gain power were later dubbed David Cameron’s “sh*t show” by then-US President Barack Obama.
Questioned about Charlottesville, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think he got it totally wrong and I thought it was a great shame that he failed to make a clear and fast distinction, which we all are able to make, between fascists and anti-fascists, between Nazis and anti-Nazis”.
Johnson’s visit is part of a pan-European project to reduce the numbers of people from taking the perilous crossing across the Mediterranean ocean for a new life in Europe.
Johnson has promised to give Libya more than £9 million (US$11.5 million) to tackle terrorism and trafficking.
He said a secure and stable Libya was “firmly in the United Kingdom interests” and would be better equipped to deal with the threat from terrorism and the challenge of migration.
Since the meeting in Paris, Haftar’s Libyan National Army has threatened to advance into the eastern city of Derna, and tightened a blockade around the city.