NEWS

Boris Johnson Being Appointed As Foreign Secretary Has Prompted All Sorts Of International Reaction

'Good luck Great Britain'.

14/07/2016 09:55 | Updated 14 July 2016

Many were stunned to hear on Wednesday evening that Theresa May had appointed Boris Johnson as her new foreign secretary.

From Labour leadership candidate Angela Eagle’s utter disbelief to MP Gavin Newlands’ request for ‘the Matrix to be reset’, reaction in the UK to the appointment was generally amazement.

But even more amazed was the reaction abroad.

Germany’s foreign affairs minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier labelled Johnson “irresponsible”, while France’s foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said “he lied a lot to the British people and now it is he who has his back against the wall”, according to Reuters.

In the United States, the state department’s deputy spokesman Mark Toner could be seen struggling to keep his true feelings under wraps, despite his diplomatic words.

US political scientist Ian Bremmer wasn’t sure if maybe the whole thing was a big joke:

Meanwhile in Europe, Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt seemed to echo his sentiments:

The Germans in particular seemed to be having fun with the prospect of the former London mayor as foreign secretary or Außenminister.

German news magazine Der Spiegel offered this Gif of “Her Majesty’s future top diplomat”:

Newsreaders were apparently sniggering as they announced the appointment:

Schneider added that Boris wasn’t known for having many friends in Brussels, according to one German correspondent:

On social media, this German user lamented: “Oh man, how embarrassing. You can’t send him to other countries.”

While another offered their “unfiltered emotional response”:

Another simply wished us “good luck”:

And another suggested that Johnson’s appointment would be followed by the announcement of our new transport secretary:

Indeed our own German edition had their own fun with the news:

HuffPost Germany
HuffPost Germany's front page on Boris Johnson's appointment

This translates some of Boris’ better known descriptions of various foreign leaders: “GRANDIOSE WANKER.” “SADISTIC NURSE.” “PART KENYAN.”

“Great Britain has a new foreign minister. Unfortunately he’s already offended some of the world’s diplomats.”

Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt suggested that perhaps the appointment was a joke:

Unsurprisingly, Russia seemed a little more serious about Boris’ new post.

Aleksey Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russia’s State Duma, said that he hoped Boris would not continue the “painful anti-Russian complexes” of his predecessor Philip Hammond, who is now chancellor.

We are unable to confirm whether Japan’s emperor’s recent decision was related to Boris’ appointment:

To be fair, former Australian PM Tony Abbott seemed pleased:

Though the news was even greeted with disbelief in outer space:

On Thursday, Theresa May continued to form her new cabinet on her first full day as prime minister of Great Britain.

 

  • Chancellor - Philip Hammond
    Laura Lean/PA Wire
    As widely predicted Philip Hammond has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. The former Foreign Secretary first joined the Cabinet as Transport Secretary in 2010 before replacing Liam Fox in the Ministry of Defence 18 months later.
  • Foreign Secretary - Boris Johnson
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    In one of the most unexpected announcements, Boris Johnson is the new Foreign Secretary. The former London Mayor clashed with Theresa May over using water cannons on the capital's streets, but the new PM clearly doesn't hold a grudge. 
  • Home Secretary - Amber Rudd
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    Amber Rudd faces the daunting task of succeeding the new Prime Minister in her old job in the Home Office. Rudd's relationship with Johnson in the Foreign Office will be interesting, given the pair clashed so spectacularly during the Brexit TV debates
  • Brexit Secretary - David Davis
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    Without doubt one of the biggest jobs facing the Government has gone to David Davis. The former Shadow Home Secretary - and Minister for Europe in the 1990s - will be in charge of negotiating the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Davis came second to David Cameron in the 2005 leadership contest, and this is his first appointment to the Cabinet.
  • International Trade Secretary - Liam Fox
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    Another remarkable comeback. Liam Fox was forced to quit as Defence Secretary in 2011 over claims he had let his lobbyist friend Adam Werrity join him on official trips overseas. The Brexit campaigner is now back in Government, and back on the foreign junket circuit, this time promoting trade. 
  • Defence Secretary - Michael Fallon
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    The very definition of a safe pair of hands, Michael Fallon is also known as the ‘Minister for the Today programme’ such is his composure in front of the media. With the UK currently involved in military operations in Iraq and Syria, Fallon stays as Defence Secretary to provide continuity. 
  • Justice Secretary - Liz Truss
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    With Michael Gove axed from Government, Liz Truss is moved from Environment to Justice. She is the UK's first female Lord Chancellor.
  • Education Secretary - Justine Greening
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Justine Greening gets promoted from International Development to Education - with Nicky Morgan axed from Government. Greening was one of May's strongest supporters in the leadership contest.
  • Chief Whip - Gavin Williamson
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    After serving as David Cameron's Parliamentary Private Secretary for three years, Gavin Williamson is now Theresa May's enforcer-in-chief. As Chief Whip, he will be responsible for making sure May's small Commons majority doesn't cause her too much trouble.
  • Health Secretary - Jeremy Hunt
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Despite rumours he had been sacked, Jeremy Hunt stays as Health Secretary. With the junior doctors contract dispute ongoing, this is a clear sign that May backs the changes and the way Hunt handled the negotiations.
  • Northern Ireland Secretary - James Brokenshire
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Having served under Theresa May in the Home Office, James Brokenshire was touted as future Cabinet Minister when she became Prime Minister. Brokenshire, who campaigned for Remain in the referendum, replaces Brexit-backing Theresa Villiers to oversee the region which voted to stay in the EU.
  • Conservative Party Chairman - Patrick McLoughlin
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    The former miner has been an MP since 1986, and is now Chairman of the party. After a scandal hit few years - think of the RoadTrip stories - Patrick McLoughlin is a safe pair of hands.
  • Communities and Local Government Secretary - Sajid Javid
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Sajid Javid was criticised for his handling of the Tata Steel crisis, so perhaps it is not a surprise he has been moved from the Department of Business. As Communities and Local Government Secretary he will be responsible for overseeing the house building boom the UK desperately needs. 
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary - Andrea Leadsom
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    After coming second in the leadership contest, it was clear Andrea Leadsom would get a promotion from Energy Minister. As Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, she will get to spend a lot of time in Tory heartlands - which may set her up nicely for the next time a leadership vacancy arises.
  • Work And Pensions Secretary - Damian Green
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    Damian Green served under Theresa May in the Home Office, and is highly regarded by his colleagues. As the third DWP Secretary this year, Green will have to try and iron out some of the tensions around Universal Credit and cuts to Personal Independence Payments.
  • Transport Secretary - Chris Graryling
    Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
    As chairman of Theresa May's leadership campaign, Chris Grayling was tipped for one of the big roles in Government. While Transport might not be as high-profile as Home or Brexit Secretary, he will be responsible for HS2 and airport expansion.
  • International Development Secretary - Priti Patel
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Priti Patel joining the Cabinet is no surprise, but giving her the International Development brief will raise a few eyebrows. A Brexit campaigner who follows in the Thatcherite tradition of the party, Patel will now have to turn her focus to helping some of the world's poorest communities.
  • Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - Greg Clark
    Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
    Former Communities Secretary Greg Clark is now responsible for a new department: Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Energy part comes from the now defunct Energy and Climate Change Department.
  • Wales Secretary - Alun Cairns
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Alun Cairns was only appointed Wales Secretary in March, and it's no real surprise he hasn't been moved.
  • Scotland Secretary - David Mundell
    Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    As the Conservatives only MP in Scotland, David Mundell staying in post was a given. 
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury - David Gauke
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Uncork the Gauke! After years in George Osborne's shadow - except of course when he would get wheeled out to deal with bad news - David Gauke now attends Cabinet in his own right. Respected across the House, Gauke even shows flashes of humour on his Twitter account.
  • Leader of the Commons - David Lidington
    Luca Bruno/AP
    As Minister for Europe, David Lidington was more used to dealing with barracking from his own backbenchers than the Opposition. Now as Leader of the Commons, Lidington will be dealing with queries from all over the House with his trademark wit and good grace.
  • Attorney General - Jeremy Wright
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    Appointed to the role in 2014, Jeremy Wright will remain as Attorney General.
  • Cabinet Office Minister - Ben Gummer
    Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
    With Matthew Hancock being so closely linked to George Osborne, it is no surprise that with Master gone, the Apprentice would follow. Ipswich MP Ben Gummer takes his place.
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