The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Moron’ high cost

Ottawa, Nov. 26 (Reuters): The top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien who called US President George W. Bush a “moron” resigned today, saying the controversy generated by the comment had made her position untenable.

Francoise Ducros, Chretien’s communications director, had been under intense pressure from Opposition politicians and the media since making the remark last Wednesday during a conversation with journalists during a Nato summit in Prague. She first offered her resignation last Friday but Chretien refused to accept it, saying the remarks had been private. But today she sent Chretien a letter saying she was quitting. “It is very apparent to me that the controversy will make it impossible for me to do my job. I would, therefore, like to leave my position as director of communications immediately,” wrote Ducros, who had been in the post since mid-1999.

Ducros, a 40-year-old lawyer known for her combative and often abrasive manner, showed undying loyalty to Chretien and was considered one of the most influential players in Ottawa. “I’m very sorry. She was very good, a very competent person and served me and served the government extremely well, and I wish her good luck,” Chretien said.

Chretien declared last week that Bush “is a friend of mine, he is not a moron at all”. But Ducros; comments did little to improve his cool relationship with the US President. Chretien comes from the Left wing of Canada’s ruling Liberals and is uncomfortable with the right-wing Republican president's stance on many issues.

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