Woody Johnson: US ambassador to the UK denies making racist and sexist remarks

July 23, 2020

The US ambassador to the UK has denied reports he made "insensitive" remarks about race and gender to staff.

CNN reported US officials had investigated Woody Johnson after he made "generalisations about black men" and "cringeworthy" comments about the appearances of women.

The report also alleged Mr Johnson sought to advance the US president's business interests by lobbying politicians for the Open Championship golf tournament to be played at Donald Trump's Turnberry course in Scotland.

But in a post on social media, Mr Johnson said the accusations were false.

"I have followed the ethical rules and requirements of my office at all times," he wrote on Twitter.

"These false claims of insensitive remarks about race and gender are totally inconsistent with my longstanding record and values."

A US State Department spokesperson told CNN Mr Johnson is "a valued member of the team" who has carried out his work in the UK "honourably and professionally".

"We stand by ambassador Johnson and look forward to him continuing to ensure our special relationship with the UK is strong," they added.

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Mr Johnson, who is part-owner of NFL team the New York Jets, has been Washington's ambassador in London since November 2017.

This week he hosted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the capital.

Asked about the allegation at a White House news conference on Wednesday, Mr Trump replied: "No I never spoke to Woody Johnson about that, about Turnberry.

"Turnberry is a highly respected course as you know, one of the best in world, and I read a story about it today, and I never spoke to Woody Johnson about doing that. No."

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