Boris Johnson - Headlines Today in UK

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Loose cannon or influential statesman — what kind of British prime minister would Boris Johnson make on the world stage? Judging by his time as foreign secretary, possibly both. When Johnson was given the foreign job in 2016, after Britain voted to leave the EU, he was viewed as an unlikely choice by politicians and public alike given his tendency to court controversy with gaffes, oddball jokes and off-the-cuff remarks. The early days seemed to confirm the worst fears of those who saw the Conservative lawmaker as an unsuitable diplomat, at a critical time when Britain needed to forge new political and commercial ties with a slew of countries. What should have been a routine conference in Italy, the “Mediterranean Dialogues Forum” aimed at building relations with leading envoys from the West and Middle East, instead turned into something of a diplomatic incident. Johnson made headlines by going off-script and accusing Saudi Arabia, an important regional ally, of acting as a puppeteer in proxy wars under the guise of religion. The backlash was swift from Prime Minister Theresa May, who said his comments did not reflect “actual policy,” dishing out what a government source described as a shocking and very public “cuffing” for a senior minister. Now May is stepping down over her failure to extract Britain from the European Union. Johnson, a leader of the Brexit campaign, is the overwhelming favorite to become leader of the governing Conservative Party next month, which would also make him prime minister. The…

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