5-speed listening (Level 6)

Boris Johnson – UK's controversial new foreign secretary



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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The new British Prime Minister Theresa May has caused a stir around the world with her appointment of the UK's new Foreign Secretary. She has chosen the controversial former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson led the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union and has now been given the job of Britain's top diplomat. This has surprised many as Mr Johnson has a track record of being very undiplomatic to world leaders and countries. He once referred to Hillary Clinton as a "sadistic nurse in a mental hospital". He compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to a creature from Harry Potter. He also made racist comments about African countries and the nation of Papua New Guinea.

The British newspaper 'The Independent' said Mrs May, "had managed to unite the international community in bewilderment by her appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary". France's foreign secretary said Mr Johnson had lied to the British people during his campaign to get Britain to leave the EU. TV presenters and journalists in Germany speculated whether British politics was becoming a farcical comedy show. The Washington Post asked how Mr Johnson could become Britain’s top diplomat after having offended much of the world. Mr Johnson shrugged off comments that he was not the person for the job. He said his task was to reshape Britain's identity as a "great global player".

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