U.K. Ambassador Woody Johnson fired a senior diplomat for lauding Former President Barack Obama in a speech delivered to British university students before Halloween in 2018.

Lewis Lukens, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London, served until November 2018 when Johnson fired him seven months before he was scheduled for a new assignment.

According to GQ, Lukens had praised Obama’s handling of controversial LGBTQ rights. Lukens also cited Obama in the speech, offering a 2013 Obama anecdote to the crowd.

Most of Lukens’ speech revolved around the importance of the U.S.-U.K. diplomacy. It was made shortly after President Donald Trump upset U.S.-U.K. relations by taking jabs at London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Prime Minister Theresa May.

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The strained alliance made Lukens recall a trip Obama made to west Africa in 2013 while Lukens was stationed nearby in Senegal.

Lukens lauded Obama’s management of diplomatic affairs with Senegalese President Macky Sall. The pair discussed the discrimination and criminalization that the LGBTQ community faced in Senegal. A disagreement between the opposing parties was inevitable. However, rather than taking jabs at each other, the framework of the conversation remained cordial. As the leaders handled the dispute, “as friends.”

Lukens reported that his anecdote was an example of how international alliances could endure despite differences, and one week later, he was fired.

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