Boris Johnson has dodged the chance to apologise for penning an obscene rhyme about Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdgoan, saying on Tuesday that such “trivia” had not arisen during his visit to Ankara.

Speaking at a press conference in the Turkish capital, the foreign secretary said that he was “delighted” that discussions had not arisen about his winning entry for an offensive poetry competition, published by the Spectator magazine before he took office in May, writes Laura Pitel in Ankara.

Among other insults, the limerick described Mr Erdogan as having “sowed his wild oats/with the help of a goat.”

Mr Johnson, arguably the most prominent figure in a campaign for Brexit that frequently used Turkey as a stick to bash the European Union, described the relationship between the two countries as strong and said that they were working on a new “jumbo free trade deal” in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

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