The newly appointed U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who had led the charge on the Brexit vote, will represent the country internationally despite having personally insulted numerous world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama.
Johnson, the former mayor of London, had campaigned for Britain to exit the European Union (EU).
A Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), Johnson had been heavily favored to succeed former Prime Minister David Cameron but withdrew from the race after being publicly blasted by his colleague Justice Secretary Michael Gove, according to CNN.
Theresa May, previously the U.K. Home Secretary, ultimately succeeded Cameron as Britain’s new Prime Minister. In a move that shocked world leaders, she announced on July 13 that Johnson would serve as the new Foreign Secretary, the BBC reports.
May had opposed the Brexit vote but has said that she will enforce it as the new Prime Minister.
Johnson announced that his new appointment made him "very humbled."
While May’s decision may have revived Johnson’s political career, it has startled onlookers who recall the Conservative MP’s history of incendiary remarks about other world leaders, countries and races.
Previously an editor of the British magazine "The Spectator," Johnson has penned controversial editorials in several U.K. outlets over the past decade, according to the Daily Beast. In 2002, he reportedly wrote a piece asserting that Europeans should not apologize to the continent of Africa for colonialism.
Johnson also characterized Africans as “flag-waving piccaninnies … [with] watermelon smiles," the Daily Beast notes.
When Obama urged voters in the U.K. to vote to remain in the EU, Johnson wrote a piece calling him a “part-Kenyan president.”
The Conservative MP added that Obama’s ethnic heritage had given him an “ancestral dislike of Britain.”
In 2008, Johnson wrote an op-ed offering a backhanded endorsement of then-Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for the presidency, saying that he only wanted her to win because he presumed former President Bill Clinton would actually be in charge as First Husband.
“She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital,” Johnson wrote of Clinton.
“And if Bill can deal with Hillary, he can surely deal with any global crisis," he once remarked.
Johnson had also previously called former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California a “monosyllabic Austrian cyborg.”
In 2016, he also wrote a poem accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of having had sexual relations with a goat.
“There was a young fellow from Ankara, Who was a terrific wankerer, Till he sowed his wild oats, With the help of a goat, But he didn’t even stop to thankera,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson also once joked that he would invite presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to tour London “except I wouldn’t want to expose any Londoners to any unnecessary risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Now, as the new Foreign Minister, Johnson will represent the U.K. among the international community as Britain’s top diplomat.
Liberal Democratic leader Tim Farron commented that Johnson would spend less time in his new position promoting diplomacy and “spend more time apologizing to nations he’s offended," the BBC reports.