FoSec BoJo's foreign faux pas

New Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is a past master in foreign faux pas.

Thursday, 14th July 2016, 9:12 am
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2016, 10:17 am
Boris Johnson: from foreign faux pas to Foreign Secretary

From Hillary Clinton's "sadistic nurse" slur to casual racism of referencing Barack Obama's Kenyan heritage, the former London Mayor rivals Prince Philip in upsetting overseas neighbours.

Becoming our international ambassador, as incoming PM Theresa May's most colourful cabinet appointment, we spotlight just such insults about ...

Hillary Clinton: November 2007 saw Boris say of Hillary Clinton: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital."

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Barack Obama: Less than three months ago he suggested Barack Obama had a grudge against Britain because of his “part-Kenyan” heritage.

Slamming US President for intervening in the Brexit debate, Boris criticised him removing a Winston Churchill bust from the Oval office.

“No one was sure whether the President had himself been involved in the decision. Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President's ancestral dislike of the British Empire - of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” he said.

Black people: He had to apologise in 2008 after the then-London mayoral candidate was presented with his comments, written five years earlier, about black people.

Mocking Tony Blair's globetrotting, he wrote: "What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.” He also mentioned racially stereotypical "watermelon smiles".

The French:

In a 2013 speech Boris recalled how he met former French PM Alain Juppe, mayor of Bordeaux representing 239,517 people in the ninth biggest city in France.

He said: “I got the ball back very firmly over the net, folks, because I said there were 250,000 French men and women in London and therefore I was the mayor of the sixth biggest French city on earth.”

China: Another column diatribe, from 2005, was headed “Getting our knickers in a twist over China” in which he played down importance of the world’s most populous nation.

He ranted: “We do not need to fear the Chinese. China will not dominate the globe. We do not need to teach babies Mandarin. Compared with the old British Empire, and the new American imperium, Chinese cultural influence is virtually nil, and unlikely to increase.”

EU and Hitler:

Boris controversially suggested a couple of months ago the EU was an attempt to recreate the Roman Empire’s united Europe. “Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods,” he added.

Turkish president:

Amid an international free speech row between Turkey and Germany, Boris took part in a poetry competition organised by his former magazine The Spectator, penning incendiary limerick “There was a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific w***erer, Till he sowed his wild oats, With the help of a goat, But he didn’t even stop to thankera.”