Boris Johnson has tried to laugh off his poor timing after his G7 press conference suffered an epic clash with the football.

The Tory leader had tried to bring forward his press conference at the summit in Cornwall as he wanted to avoid clashing with England's Euro 2020 debut against Croatia - without causing a diplomatic incident.

The PM's aides had strained to avoid conflicting with the 2pm kick-off time but were hemmed in by protocol.

By tradition the host nation of the G7 has their press conference first - and talks in Cornwall broke up just before 2pm.

A last-ditch bid was made to bring forward the timing to 1.45pm - 15 minutes before kick-off.

A last-ditch bid was made to bring forward the timing to 1.45pm
A last-ditch bid was made to bring forward the timing to 1.45pm

But in the end the Prime Minister walked on stage just after 2pm.

He joked: "I’m sorry to hear that due to their pre-existing commitments, the England football team are not able to watch this press conference in the way I’m sure they would like.

"But I hope that following their resounding victory they will be able to catch up on the triumphs of the G7 later on."

As US President Joe Biden made a speedy exit from the three-day summit to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen, Mr Johnson hailed the outcome of the gathering in Cornwall.

In an apparent swipe at Donald Trump, the PM said leaders wanted to “reject some of the selfishness and nationalistic approaches that have marred some of the initial global response to the pandemic.”

He also said G7 leaders had pledged “over 1billion doses" of spare vaccine, "either directly or through funding to COVAX” - following reports the final pledge had fallen short of a cool billion.

Gordon Brown warned the summit could become a "moral failure" by failing to pledge more to the world's poorest nations.

Elsewhere Mr Johnson refused to confirm the end of Covid lockdown will be delayed by four weeks - saying ahead of tomorrow's announcement: "We don’t want to get it out in dribs and drabs".