BORIS JOHNSON'S appointment as Foreign Secretary is likely to raise eyebrows after he blazed a trail of high-profile gaffes and controversies on the international stage.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna and, more improbably, the US pop star Cher were among those to comment after the appointment of the blond Brexiteer-in-chief to the UK's top diplomatic post.

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Outgoing US President Barack Obama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among those who Mr Johnson has turned his attention to in recent weeks.

News of Johnson's appointment broke during a US State Department briefing. A journalist asked spokesman Mark Toner for an opinion on the new post, causing him to visibly stifle a laugh.

The United States would always be able to work with British officials because of its "deep, abiding" relationship with Britain, Mr Toner said.

He added: “We’re always going to be able to work with the British, no matter who is occupying the role of the Foreign Secretary because of our deep abiding special relationship with the United Kingdom."

In April the MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip was criticised for describing Mr Obama as a "part-Kenyan" who harboured an "ancestral dislike" of Britain.

He made the comments in a newspaper article in April after the US's first black president came out in favour of the Remain campaign during a visit to Britain.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, whose father was Nigerian, tweeted after Mr Johnson's new role was revealed, saying: "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's first official meeting with President Obama will be interesting. Suggest it starts with the word 'sorry'".

Mr Johnson followed his comments on Mr Obama by winning £1,000 in a competition run by the Spectator magazine the following month, for a limerick he composed describing Mr Erdogan having sex with a goat and calling him a "wankerer", to rhyme with the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Last November local officials called off a visit to Palestine on safety grounds after the then-London mayor told an audience in Tel Aviv that a trade boycott of Israeli goods was "completely crazy" and supported by "corduroy, jacketed, snaggletoothed, lefty academics in the UK".

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Palestinian officials accused him of adopting a "misinformed and disrespectful" pro-Israel stance and said he risked creating protests if he visited the West Bank, although Mr Johnson claimed his comments were "very much whipped up" on social media.

The month previously he had made a more light-hearted gaffe when he was filmed wiping out a 10-year-old Japanese schoolboy during a game of street rugby on a visit to Tokyo.

The images, which were shown widely, saw burly Boris take out Toki Sekiguchi as the politician raced down the mini turf pitch.

Sekiguchi said afterwards: "I felt a little bit of pain but it's OK."

In 2008 Mr Johnson apologised for a Daily Telegraph column written six years previously, while the MP for Henley, in which he described the Queen being greeted in Commonwealth countries by "flag-waving piccaninnies" - a derogatory term for black children.

The same column mentioned then Prime Minister Tony Blair being greeted by "tribal warriors who will all break out in watermelon smiles" on an upcoming visit to the Congo.

The same year he offended his hosts while visiting the Beijing Olympics, when he said it was a misconception that table tennis had been invented by the Chinese and had in fact developed from a Victorian English game called "whiff-whaff".

In a November 2007 column in the same paper he described Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate to replace Mr Obama, as having "a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital".

The piece, which described Mrs Clinton as the best candidate to replace George W Bush in the 2008 presidential election, also described Mr Obama as "plainly brilliant".

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In one of British politics' more surreal moments, Cher was asked on Twitter what she thought of Johnson's appointment, by a British journalist.

She replied: "Think He's F****** Idiot who lied to British ppl & Didnt have the (emojis of various sports balls) 2 lead them once 'leave' vote won."