Boris Johnson is a British politician, writer, and former journalist serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Minister for the Union and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2019.
He was Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.
- Born: 19 June 1964 (age 55 years), Upper East Side, New York, United States
- Full name: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
- Party: Conservative Party
- Partner: Carrie Symonds (2018–)
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About Boris Johnson
Johnson was born on 19 June 1964 in Upper East Side, New York, United States. Son of Stanley Johnson and Charlotte Fawcett.
Boris’s parents had married in 1963, before moving to the US where they lived opposite the Chelsea Hotel; in September 1964 they returned to England so that Charlotte could study at the University of Oxford, during which time she lived with her son in Summertown, Oxford, and in 1965 gave birth to a daughter, Rachel.
In July 1965 the family moved to Crouch End in North London and in February 1966 they relocated to Washington, D.C., where Stanley had gained employment with the World Bank.
A third child, Leo, was born in September 1967. Stanley then gained employment with a policy panel on population control and in June moved the family to Norwalk, Connecticut.
As a child, Johnson lived in New York City, London, and Brussels before attending boarding school in England.
He won a scholarship to Eton College and later studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was president of the Oxford Union.
After briefly working as a management consultant, Johnson embarked on a career in journalism.
He started as a reporter for The Times in 1987 but was fired for fabricating a quotation.
He then began working for The Daily Telegraph, where he served as a correspondent covering the European Community (1989–94) and later as an assistant editor (1994–99).
In 1994 Johnson became a political columnist for The Spectator, and in 1999 he was named the magazine’s editor, continuing in that role until 2005.
He was elected MP for Henley in 2001, and served as a Junior Shadow Minister under Conservative leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron.
He largely adhered to the Conservatives’ party line but adopted a socially liberal stance on issues such as LGBT rights in parliamentary votes.
He resigned as an MP and in 2008 was elected Mayor of London, being re-elected in 2012.
During his mayoralty he oversaw the 2012 Summer Olympics, introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable car and banned alcohol consumption on much of London’s public transport.
In 2015, Johnson was elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, stepping down as mayor the following year.
In 2016, he became a prominent figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign for Brexit.
He then served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Theresa May’s premiership – a post from which he resigned in criticism of May’s approach to Brexit and the Chequers Agreement two years later.
After May resigned in 2019, he was elected Conservative leader and appointed prime minister.
His advice about the prorogation of Parliament was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court.
In the 2019 general election, Johnson led the Conservative Party to their biggest victory since 1987, and biggest percentage vote share of any party since 1979.
The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union under the terms of Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal agreement.
Johnson is a controversial figure in British politics and journalism. Supporters have praised him as an entertaining, humorous, and popular figure, with an appeal stretching beyond traditional Conservative voters and eurosceptics. Conversely, his critics have accused him of dishonesty, elitism, and cronyism, and of using offensive language.
Johnson is the subject of several biographies and fictionalised portrayals.