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Former senior foreign office official: Boris Johnson “is a noted clown”

Johnson’s shameful stint as Foreign Secretary will cast a shadow over British diplomacy for years to come

By Arthur Snell  

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

I can date the first time I became really aware of Boris Johnson with reasonable accuracy. It would have to be the first quarter of 2002. I was a junior diplomat on a posting in Abuja, Nigeria’s strangely artificial capital, and the Ministry of Finance was my regular beat. There, I would attempt to cultivate Nigerian officials to get a fuller understanding of their attitude to debt repayment negotiations that seemed important at the time. One such contact, like many Nigerian senior officials a…

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