Conservative British politician Boris Johnson became London’s second elected mayor before overseeing the UK’s departure from the European Union as prime minister.
Who is Boris Johnson?
After beginning his career as a journalist, Boris Johnson became a top editor while building his political base as a Conservative MP. A surprise winner of London’s mayoral race in 2008, the famous disheveled politician championed the Brexit referendum ‘Leave’ movement in 2016 before spending two years as Foreign Secretary. Elevated to prime minister in 2019, Johnson engineered the UK’s break with the European Union but was criticized for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules and resigned as prime minister in July 2022.
How old is Boris Johnson?
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born in New York on June 19, 1964.
Parents and Siblings
His sister, Rachel, later gained acclaim as a journalist; his younger brother, Jo, became an MP and government minister; and his younger brother, Leo, embarked on a career in finance. Johnson also has two half-siblings, Maximilian and Julia, from Stanley’s second marriage.
Early childhood and education
Thanks to his father’s varied professional activities, Johnson moved 32 times at the age of 14. The family’s trips included stops in London, where Johnson attended Primrose Hill Primary School, and Brussels, where he was enrolled in the European School.
Affected by a medical condition known as “sticky ear”, which left him partially deaf until he was around eight years old, Johnson was considered a quiet, studious boy. He started to come out of his shell after being sent to Ashdown Houseboarding school in East Sussex, where he studied ancient Greek and Latin and developed a love for rugby.
At Eton College, Johnson dropped his first name and honed a more outgoing personality. He led the debating society, was made captain of the school, and joined the exclusive “Pop” club, though he also angered the faculty to the point that a householder critical his “disgracefully cavalier attitude”.
After a sabbatical year spent teaching in Australia, Johnson returned to England to study the classics at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Standing out among other future stars, he became president of the Oxford Union, co-edited the satirical publication Tributary and joined the Bullingdon Club before graduating with an upper second class degree in 1987.
Journalist and politician
Johnson began his journalism career as a graduate trainee for The temperature but was fired the following year after assign a quote made to his godfather, the famous academic Colin Lucas.
Landing on his feet as a correspondent in Brussels for The Daily Telegraph, Johnson has earned a reputation for his over-the-top but entertaining criticism of the European Commission. He later compared the experience to “throwing these stones over the garden wall and [listening] to that incredible greenhouse crash next door in England.”
Johnson served as Telegraphpolitical columnist and deputy editor from 1994 to 1999, then editor of The spectatora right-wing magazine, until 2005. During this time he also began writing a regular automotive column for QG and saw his fame grow via well-received appearances on the popular quiz show “Have I Got News for You”.
Johnson also launched his political career as the Conservative MP for Henley, Oxfordshire, in 2001. Forced out of his post as party deputy chairman and shadow arts minister after lie about an affair in 2004 he bounced back for re-election the following year and became shadow minister for higher education under Conservative leader David Cameron.
Mayor of London
Nominated Conservative candidate for mayor of London in 2007, Johnson got his first taste of international attention for his disheveled appearance and energetic but clumsy mannerisms. He eventually beat incumbent Labor Ken Livingstone to become the second elected mayor In 2008.
Recovery of a bumpy start in which several top aides quit, Johnson introduced the “Boris bikes” bike-sharing program in 2010 and the new and improved “Boris bus” fleet in early 2012.
Although he has been criticized for his answer at the London riots in 2011, he held on to defeat Livingstone and win a second term in 2012.
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Johnson then saw the completion of the ArcelorMittal Orbit observation tower and the Emirates Air Line cable cars in time for the 2012 London Olympics, which provided the mayor’s enduring image. stuck on a zip line above Victoria Park. Other ambitious projects, such as the Airport “Island of Boris” and garden bridge over the Thames, never materialized despite his efforts.
As well as holding another elected post as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015, Johnson spent his final weeks as mayor engaged in the contentious Brexit issue, a referendum on whether to keep the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Union.
Initially unsure which side to take, Johnson eventually became the face of the “Leave” campaign, in direct opposition to Prime Minister Cameron. His populist message for an independent UK resonated with the public, leading to the historic vote of the electorate to leave the EU on June 23, 2016.
Johnson then launched a bid to replace Cameron as Tory leader, but bowed out by the end of June, paving the way for Theresa May to take over as Prime Minister.
Appointed May’s Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary in July 2016, Johnson quickly got into trouble with his off-the-cuff commentary. After initially defending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he accused the Middle Eastern country of “puppetry and playing proxy wars”. Later, his incorrect assessment that a British-Iranian national was “teaching” when arrested for espionage in Iran would have bolstered accusations that she was spreading propaganda.
Johnson dutifully represented the country’s interests in rebuking the alleged Russian use of a deadly nerve agent and supporting the Iran nuclear deal. But he also fell out with his boss over her attempts to broker the UK’s break from the EU Appalled by proposed compromises, Johnson resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs in July 2018.
British Prime Minister
After May resigned in May 2019 over his failure to strike a Brexit deal, Johnson once again sought to control the party’s leadership. This time he emerged victorious after promising to withdraw from the EU by October 31 whether a deal is in place or not, and took office as prime minister July 24, 2019.
Johnson quickly found himself at odds with lawmakers after asking Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament until mid-October, with critics accusing him of narrowing the scope for opposition to his Brexit plans. Parliament thereafter passed a bill this required the Prime Minister to seek an extension for leaving the UK by October 19 if he was unable to negotiate a deal with the EU or secure the necessary consent for a no-deal Brexit.
While Johnson was forced to seek the extension, he managed to take his case to the people with a snap election. Sporting the slogan ‘make Brexit happen’, the Conservative Party has proven decisive winner in the December 2019 general election, giving Johnson time to work out the details of a final deal after the country is elected official EU release on January 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, a new crisis emerged that year with the rapid onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially reluctant to curb the flow of business and public interactions, Johnson eventually announced the closing stores and restaurants on March 20 before imposing strict containment measures a few days later. He then lands in intensive care after contracting the virus at the end of the month.
Although the UK became the first Western country to green light for a vaccine in December 2020, it also became the first European nation to exceed 100,000 victims of the disease in January 2021. Later that year, a report criticized the “public health failuresin the country caused by government delays in enacting social distancing guidelines.
Johnson’s problems worsened in April 2022, when he was a fine for breaking lockdown rules. The following month he was named the main culprit in a series of lockdown-defying social rallies among government workers, a scandal dubbed “party portal.”
After surviving a no-confidence vote by party members in June, the revelation that Johnson was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher sparked a wave of government resignations headlined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid. On July 7, 2022, Johnson bowed to pressure to resign as Prime Minister.
Although former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss took over as party leader and premier, she also resigned less than two months later after several public missteps. Initially interested in returning to work, Johnson removed his name shortly before Sunak was announced as the new Prime Minister on October 24, 2022.
Johnson is the author of several books, dating back to his campaign stories with Friends, constituents, compatriots (2001). Other works include the novel seventy-two virgins (2003); an examination of antiquity with The Dream of Rome (2006); a book of poetry and illustrations with Perils of Insistent Parents (2007); and the biography The Churchill Factor (2014).
women and children
Johnson has been married three times and fathered seven children. After meeting Allegra Mostyn-Owen in Oxford, the two married in 1987 before having the union annulled in 1993. That year Johnson married lawyer Marina Wheeler, with whom he had daughters Lara and Cassia and sons Milo and Theodore.
Following the revelation that he had another daughter, Stephanie, with journalist Helen MacIntyre, Johnson and Wheeler divorced in 2018. The Prime Minister then married public relations executive Carrie Symonds in 2021 and added to his family with his son Wilfred and his daughter Romy.
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