Westminster politicians line up behind their mate Emmanuel Macron
George Osborne and George Freeman stressed their friendship with the man in line to the next French president.
UK politicians have lined up to back Emmanuel Macron – with at least two senior Tories now claiming to be pals with the French centrist.
After topping Sunday's vote, Macron will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French election. He is favourite to win the run-off on 7 May and to become France’s youngest leader since Napoleon.
As the news came through on Sunday evening, a host of Labour quickly got behind Macron. They included Stephen Kinnock, who tweeted: "Sad to see Benoit Hamon do so badly, but the rise of Macron is proof positive of the power of progressive, mainstream politics. En Marche!!"
On Monday, London mayor Sadiq Khan got in on the act, making it clear that he had already met Macron and saying that the French politician had a "progressive, positive vision".
The Liberal Democrats were a bit more enthused, with leader Tim Farron leading the charge. He pronounced: "Congrats Macron. We stand with you against Le Pen's divisive politics. Time to turn the tide and stand up for openness, tolerance and unity."
Farron's colleague Tom Brake was in similarly celebratory mood as he took to Twitter on Sunday evening. He wrote: "Go Macron! France and Europe are counting on you for a resounding victory over Le Pen and the far right."
A number of Conservatives were also firmly behind Macron, including Tory policy chief George Freeman who sent three tweets in an hour referring to Macron as his friend.
Former chancellor George Osborne was also quick to say that he had met and liked Macron when they were fellow finance ministers.
"Congratulations to my friend @EmmanuelMacron. Proof you can win from the centre. At last, the chance for the leadership that France needs," he tweeted.
Meanwhile Ed Miliband seized the chance to reinforce his new credentials as a top Twitter wit.
The former Labour leader replied: "Do not panic too much about this tweet. I guess @EmmunelMacron has many friends. I also met him once…"