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A key ally, a Skandalnudel, a hero: Boris Johnson likely to be remembered more fondly abroad than at home

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Boris Johnson’s spectacular demise has dominated the news around the world.

His colourful character in office and the litany of scandals that have plagued his administration have made sure of that.

The German media branded him a Skandalnudel, loosely translated as scandal glutton, apparently.

The Americans described him as a key ally.

He was derided by some as too deferential to previous president Donald Trump, who described Mr Johnson as a British version of himself.

But he maintained close relations with Mr Trump’s successor Joe Biden, particularly over Ukraine, despite friction over Brexit and Northern Ireland.

The prime minister who was born in America is regarded fondly by many there.

But US commentator Ian Bremmer told Sky News that even his admirers will admit his time in office has not improved Britain’s standing in the world.

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Johnson’s resignation speech in full

‘Scandal upon scandal upon scandal’

Mr Bremmer said: “He’s very intelligent. He’s extremely engaging. But as a political leader, he has also been deeply narcissistic and hasn’t been good for the United Kingdom.

“And so even if the Americans miss him, we have to recognise that this has been a bad period for UK politics.

“It has been beset with scandal upon scandal upon scandal, Boris Johnson has been caught in lie after lie after lie. And they don’t need this.”

Read more:
The rise and fall of Boris Johnson
Beth Rigby on PM’s ‘dignified’ resignation speech

He was something of a maverick on the world stage. Who else would use an international summit to mock Russian President Vladimir Putin urging fellow leaders to ‘show him their pecs’?

For some a refreshing change of character, for others an infuriating liar who went back on Britain’s word on the Northern Ireland protocol in the pursuit of Brexit, to the frustration and fury of European leaders.

Under Johnson the government ‘could be relied upon to be unreliable’

Belgian MEP and critic of the prime minister Philippe Lamberts told Sky News that the Johnson administration has damaged the UK’s standing in the world, but not – he hopes – irreparably.

“Under Boris Johnson, the government could not be relied upon – or, I would say, it could be relied upon to be unreliable.

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The rise and fall of Boris Johnson

“That is the main problem – I have been on record as saying I could not trust a word of the British government.

“(Whichever) government we have know, I hope we can rebuild trust, because Brexit has happened and that is just a fact of life.”

In Ukraine, though, it is a very different story.

‘Here in Ukraine, he’s a hero’

Kees Huizinger, who farms in central Ukraine, told Sky News: “Here in Ukraine, he’s a hero.

“It’s a pity it had to end that way but hopefully there will be other people who can keep up the fight against the Russians.”

There was similar sentiment on the streets too.

The prime minister was one of the first leaders to visit Ukraine when the war began and is seen as a staunch champion.

He seemed recently more at ease on the world stage where he could escape the mounting troubles at home.

In Bavaria at the G7 he was relaxed enough to mock the Russian leader.

And when he goes, he may well be joining the list of leaders remembered more fondly abroad than at home.

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