Minutes after officially becoming prime minister, May appointed Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – you heard right – as foreign minister. And his first act in his new role, according to The Telegraph, was to loose his car. He allegedly emerged from his house, said “good morning” to the media and “walked hesitantly towards a waiting black BMW before turning back to circle a parked green people carrier.”
The Telegraph added: “As he circled the car with a confused look on his face Boris said: ‘Good morning, I’m so sorry’.”
It’s unsurprising why people such as Miriam Durántez, the wife of Nick Clegg, suggested Johnson’s appointment as foreign secretary was “a shocking one”. After all: “He is someone who called the US president half-Kenyan and compared Europe to Hitler.”
In 2006 Johnson likened the Tory party to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing and in May 2016 won a prize for having written a poem about the Turkish president having sex with a goat. Moreover, he once claimed Britain had nothing to fear from China given that its “cultural influence [was] virtually nil, and unlikely to increase” – a comment he contradicted in 2013 when he said we definitely needed to learn how to speak Mandarin.
Comments such as these seem to be nipping him in the butt, and people from across the globe have not been silent about how baffled they are with May’s choice.
German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeiersays claimed the UK couldn’t have picked anyone more irresponsible. He added: “Brits are experiencing a rude awakening after irresponsible politicians first lured the country into a Brexit to then, once the decision was made, bolt and not take responsibility. Instead they went to play cricket. To be honest, I find this outrageous but it’s not just bitter for Great Britain. It’s also bitter for the European Union.”
The hashtag #Außenminister (foreign minister) has spread like wildfire as well.
— Patrick Appel (@AppelPatrick) July 13, 2016
Meanwhile, Brussels correspondent for ZDF, Anne Gellink, said Johnson was “properly, properly hated and seen as the head of a campaign of lies”, while Nikolaus Blome, the deputy editor of Bild, said: “There’s justice after all. As foreign minister, Boris Johnson now has to lie in the bed he made himself”
As for former Swedish prime minister, Carl Bildt, he “celebrated” the announcement with a picture of Johnson on the Olympic zip wire.
I wish it was a joke, but I fear it isn’t. Exit upon exit. pic.twitter.com/8qmlSkQNRj
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) July 13, 2016
US political scientist Ian Bremmer also thought it was better if the announcement was a joke.
Maybe the Brits are just having us on. We probably deserve it. https://t.co/FfidoxWCZu
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 13, 2016
French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said: “I am not at all worried about Boris Johnson, but… during the campaign he lied a lot to the British people and now it is he who has his back against the wall. He has back against the wall to defend his country but also with his back against the wall the relationship with Europe should be clear. I need a partner with whom I can negotiate and who is clear, credible and reliable. We cannot let this ambiguous, blurred situation drag on… in the interests of the British themselves.”
These sentiments carried as far as China, with one commentator even saying: “What’s going on? Foreign secretary Boris is going to hog the global headlines. Does Auntie May think he is a mascot? I can hardly bear to watch it unfold on CCTV.”
However, Philip Hammond, who will be joining Johnson as chancellor of the exchequer, said: “It would be ridiculous to have everybody as clones. We have all got different styles and that is why we make a strong team. We are very different people and when you are building a team for anything you want different kinds of people with different kinds of skills.
“And I think Boris will be very good in this job – Boris is a very big figure in the Conservative Party, he is a big figure in the country, he is a national figure. He will be an asset to both the party and the country working as part of a team closely together with the rest of us to make sure we deliver for Britain in the circumstances we find ourselves in.”
Also, George Osborne has quit his role, which has left new PM Theresa May to name Philip Hammond as his replacement.
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