Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for his President Erdogan poem

Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for his President Erdogan poem
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Back in May, Boris Johnson was awarded first prize in the Spectator's 'President Erdogan Offensive Poetry competition', for the following poem:

There was a young fellow from Ankara

Who was a terrific wankerer

Till he sowed his wild oats

With the help of a goat

But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

Fast forward a few months, and Boris - as Foreign Secretary - now finds himself in Turkey, on a diplomatic mission. And given that President Erdogan isn't exactly renowned for his sense of humour - or his love of a free press - Mr S did wonder whether the Foreign Secretary might be coming under diplomatic pressure to renounce his poem.

Thankfully, though, it seems that Boris is made of sterner stuff. During a press conference held with Turkey's foreign minister this morning, he was asked by one journalist whether he would like to accept an invitation to apologise for calling President Erdogan a 'wankerer'. Boris replied that such 'trivia' had not been raised during his visit. Which, to Mr S's ears, sounds very much like him refusing to say sorry to that 'young fellow from Ankara'.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this articlePoliticsboris johnsonturkey