With his unkempt blonde hair, bumbling humour and penchant for Latin quotations, the man known to Britons simply as "Boris" will be the new British Government's most colourful figure.

But Boris Johnson is a controversial choice for conducting sensitive diplomacy with world leaders since he has a reputation for undiplomatic language.

Two weeks ago, new Prime Minister Theresa May mocked his negotiating skills.

During the Brexit campaign, he compared the EU to one of Adolf Hitler's projects and stoked fears that Turkey was about join the bloc, leading to mass immigration to Britain. His first test may come at a meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled in Brussels next Monday.


When she launched her own leadership campaign, May made fun of Johnson's negotiations with Germany.

"I seem to remember the last time he did a deal with the Germans, he came back with three nearly new water cannons," she said.

Some of Boris' previous bouts of footinmouthitis:


Johnson once compared Democratic candidate and possible next US president Hillary Clinton to "a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital". He said she represents "everything I came into politics to oppose" including "an all-round purse-lipped political correctness". In 2007 he wrote: "She's got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital". (Daily Telegraph)


He wrote in the Sun about the US leader that the "part-Kenyan president" has an "ancestral dislike of the British Empire". (Sun)


The new Foreign Secretary wrote a poem about the Turkish President having sex with a goat which won the first-place prize in a contest sponsored by Spectator magazine. "There was a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific wankerer," the limerick begins. "Till he sowed his wild oats, With the help of a goat, But he didn't even stop to thankera." (Washington Post)


Johnson praised the Russian President's help for the Assad regime in Syria as acting "with a ruthless clarity". On Putin he said in 2015 that "despite looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant".


Johnson compared the Assad regime favourably to Isis after Palmyra was retaken saying "Assad's regime may be thuggish and brutal and callous and evil in its own way. But these people are warped and sick almost beyond belief." He added that: "The victory of Assad is a victory for archaeology, a victory for all those who care about the ancient monuments" and that (Washington Post)


In 2002 Johnson wrote: "What a relief it must be for [Tony] 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 wrote. His column also mentioned "tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles".


"The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more." (The Spectator in 2002)

- Washington Post, Reuters, Daily Telegraph