New British Prime Minister Theresa May has been slammed online for her decision to appoint former London Mayor and Leave campaigner Boris Johnson as foreign secretary.
Many online suggested the decision by May brought a swift end to a brief period of new hope for the UK, including former Tony Blair aide Alastair Campbell who tweeted: “She started so well, so serious. Then made Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary. Oh dear”.
She started so well, so serious. Then made Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary. Oh dear
— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) July 13, 2016
Theresa May’s reputation for competence lasted a few hours. @BorisJohnson will spend more time apologising to nations he’s offended
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) July 13, 2016
May’s first day & Boris Johnson is back. Just let that sink in. The idle narcissist has been rewarded for his cowardice with a place in govt
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) July 13, 2016
I’ll always look back upon the 2hrs between Theresa May’s speech & the news that Boris Johnson would be her foreign secretary with fondness.
— Pete Paphides (@petepaphides) July 13, 2016
Just informed two German diplomat friends of Boris Johnson’s appointment. Both thought I was joking.
This isn’t a good start.
— Jeremy Cliffe (@JeremyCliffe) July 13, 2016
Johnson’s always-colorful antics left the internet with plenty of good material to make light of an appointment some felt was close to parody.
Many expressed bafflement over how a man who once described Africans as having “watermelon smiles” and Vladimir Putin as “looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf” could be appointed to a role where diplomacy will be a key skill.
Boris Johnson is foreign secretary. So pleased our new Prime Minister has a sense of humour.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 13, 2016
Just when Britain was starting to become a laughing stock around the world,
Boris Johnson is appointed foreign secretary.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 13, 2016
Among the negative reactions and fun-jabbing there were some tweets welcoming the new appointment, including from former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who described Johnson as “a good friend of Australia.”
Congrats to my friend @BorisJohnson on his big new job – looking forward to working with him on climate, health, and other issues.
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) July 14, 2016
For the most part though, supporters of Johnson have been quiet online, possibly in fear of retaliation from singer Cher who reacted passionately to the news of his appointment.