International gaffes by Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson:
Turkey — May 2016
Wins a £1,000 (RM5,210) prize for penning a rude poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan having sex with a goat. His limerick, published by the Spectator as a rebuff to Erdogan’s efforts to prosecute a German comedian’s offensive poem, also calls the Turkish leader a “wankerer”.
United States — April 2016
Criticised for describing Barack Obama as a “part-Kenyan” who harboured an “ancestral dislike” of Britain. He made the comments in a newspaper article after the United States president supported the Remain campaign during a visit to Britain.
Israel — November 2015
Visit to the occupied Palestinian territories is severely curtailed by his hosts in protest at a series of strongly pro-Israel remarks. They included telling an audience in Tel Aviv a trade boycott of Israeli goods was “completely crazy” and supported by “corduroy-jacketed, snuggle toothed, lefty academics in the UK”.
Japan — October 2015
Is filmed dangerously ‘wiping out’ a 10-year-old Japanese schoolboy Toki Sekiguchi during a game of street rugby on a visit to Tokyo.
United States — June 2012
Tells TV chat show host David Letterman he “could be president of the United States, technically speaking” given that he was born in New York City on June 19, 1964.
China — August 2008
In Beijing for the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, Johnson said “respectfully to our Chinese hosts” ping pong was “invented on the dining tables of England in the 19th century. It was. And it was called wiff waff”.
United States — November 2007
In a Telegraph column headlined: “I Want Hillary Clinton to be President”, he describes the Democrat: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”.
Papua New Guinea — September 2006
In another attack on Tony Blair in another Telegraph column, Johnson wrote: “For 10 years, we in the Tory party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing and so it is with a happy amazement we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour party.”
After later apologising for any offence caused, he said he would be happy to “add Papua New Guinea to my global itinerary of apology”. However, he insisted he was not mistaken about cannibalism in the country: “My remarks were inspired by a Time Life book I have which does indeed show relatively recent photos of Papua New Guinean tribes engaged in warfare, and I’m fairly certain cannibalism was involved.”