212 Facts About Boris Johnson


Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, writer and journalist who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2019 to 2022.


Boris Johnson previously served as Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018 and as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.


Boris Johnson attended Eton College, and studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.


Boris Johnson was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986.


In 2008, Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London and resigned from the House of Commons.


Boris Johnson was a prominent figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign for Brexit in the 2016 European Union membership referendum.


Boris Johnson defeated Jeremy Hunt in the 2019 leadership election to succeed May, who resigned after Parliament's repeated rejections of her Brexit withdrawal agreement.


Boris Johnson responded to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine by imposing sanctions on Russia and authorising foreign aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine.


Amidst the Partygate scandal, Boris Johnson was issued with a fixed penalty notice in April 2022.


In July 2022, revelations over his appointment of Chris Pincher as Deputy Chief Whip led to a mass resignation of members of his government and to Boris Johnson announcing his resignation.


Boris Johnson remains in the House of Commons as a backbencher.


Boris Johnson's supporters have praised him for being humorous, witty, and entertaining, with an appeal stretching beyond traditional Conservative Party voters, making him an electoral asset to the party; conversely, his critics have accused him of lying, elitism and cronyism and bigotry.


Boris Johnson's tenure was characterised by several political controversies and scandals, being viewed as the most scandalous premiership of modern times by historians and biographers.


Boris Johnson's parents had married in 1963 before moving to the United States.


Boris Johnson's father was regularly absent from Nethercote, leaving Johnson to be raised largely by his mother, assisted by au pairs.


In 1970, Charlotte and the children briefly returned to Nethercote, where Boris Johnson attended Winsford Village School, before returning to London to settle in Primrose Hill, where they were educated at Primrose Hill Primary School.


Boris Johnson gained a King's Scholarship to study at Eton College, a boarding school near Windsor in Berkshire.


Boris Johnson abandoned his mother's Catholicism and became an Anglican, joining the Church of England.


Boris Johnson's friends were largely from the wealthy upper-middle and upper classes, his best friends then being Darius Guppy and Charles Spencer, both of whom later accompanied him to the University of Oxford and remained friends into adulthood.


Boris Johnson excelled in English and the Classics, winning prizes in both, and became secretary of the school debating society, and editor of the school newspaper, The Eton College Chronicle.


Later in Boris Johnson's career it was a point of rivalry with David Cameron, who had failed to enter Pop.


On leaving Eton, Boris Johnson went on a gap year to Australia, where he taught English and Latin at Timbertop, an Outward Bound-inspired campus of Geelong Grammar, an elite independent boarding school.


Boris Johnson won a scholarship to study Literae Humaniores at Balliol College, Oxford, a four-year course in the study of the Classics, ancient languages, literature and history, and ancient and modern philosophy.


Boris Johnson began a relationship with Allegra Mostyn-Owen, cover girl for Tatler magazine and daughter of Christie's Education chairman William Mostyn-Owen.


Boris Johnson was a glamorous and popular fellow student from his own social background; they became engaged while at university.


In 1984, Boris Johnson was elected secretary of the Oxford Union, and campaigned unsuccessfully for the career-enhancing and important position of Union President.


In 1986, Boris Johnson ran successfully for president, but his term was not particularly distinguished or memorable and questions were raised regarding his competence and seriousness.


Finally, Boris Johnson was awarded an upper second-class degree, and was deeply unhappy he did not receive a first.


In September 1987, Johnson and Mostyn-Owen were married in West Felton, Shropshire, accompanied by a duet for violin and viola Allegra e Boris specially commissioned for the wedding from Hans Werner Henze.


Boris Johnson secured employment on the leader-writing desk of The Daily Telegraph, having met its editor, Max Hastings, during his Oxford University Union presidency.


Boris Johnson's articles appealed to the newspaper's conservative, middle-class, middle-aged "Middle England" readership, and were known for their distinctive literary style, replete with old-fashioned words and phrases and for regularly referring to the readership as "my friends".


In early 1989, Boris Johnson was appointed to the newspaper's Brussels bureau to report on the European Commission, remaining in the post until 1994.


Boris Johnson wrote articles about euromyths such as the EU wanting to ban prawn cocktail crisps and British sausages, and to standardise condom sizes because Italians had smaller penises.


Boris Johnson wrote that euro notes made people impotent, that euro coins made people sick, and that a plan to blow up the Berlaymont building was in place because asbestos cladding made the building too dangerous to inhabit.


The Europhile Conservative politician Chris Patten later stated at that time Boris Johnson was "one of the greatest exponents of fake journalism".


Boris Johnson's articles exacerbated tensions between the Conservative Party's Eurosceptic and Europhile factions.


Boris Johnson's writings were a key influence on the emergence of the EU-opposing UK Independence Party in the early 1990s.


Conrad Black, then proprietor of The Daily Telegraph, said Boris Johnson "was such an effective correspondent for us in Brussels that he greatly influenced British opinion on this country's relations with Europe".


Boris Johnson then entered a relationship with a childhood friend, Marina Wheeler, who had moved to Brussels in 1990, and in May 1993, they were married at Horsham in Sussex, soon after which Marina gave birth to a daughter.


Under the influence of this milieu and of his wife, Boris Johnson moved in a more liberal direction on issues like climate change, LGBT rights and race relations.


Boris Johnson's column received praise for being ideologically eclectic and distinctively written, and earned him a Commentator of the Year Award at the What the Papers Say awards.


Boris Johnson subsequently turned his attention to obtaining a seat in the UK House of Commons.


Boris Johnson agreed to supply the information, although he expressed concern that he would be associated with the attack.


Boris Johnson was given a regular column in The Spectator, sister publication to The Daily Telegraph, which attracted mixed reviews and was often thought rushed.


Boris Johnson was invited back on to later episodes, including as a guest presenter; for his 2003 appearance, Johnson received a nomination for the BAFTA Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance.


Boris Johnson's editorship drew criticism; some opined that under him The Spectator avoided serious issues, while colleagues became annoyed that he was regularly absent from the office, meetings, and events.


Boris Johnson gained a reputation as a poor political pundit because of incorrect political predictions made in the magazine.


Journalist Charlotte Edwardes wrote in The Times in 2019 alleging that Boris Johnson had squeezed her thigh at a private lunch in the offices of the Spectator in 1999 and that another woman had told her he had done the same to her.


In 2004, Boris Johnson published an editorial in The Spectator after the murder of Ken Bigley suggesting that Liverpudlians were wallowing in their victim status and "hooked on grief" over the Hillsborough disaster, which Boris Johnson partly blamed on "drunken fans".


Alongside his Islington home, Boris Johnson bought a farmhouse outside Thame in his new constituency.


Boris Johnson regularly attended Henley social events and occasionally wrote for the Henley Standard.


In Parliament, Boris Johnson was appointed to a standing committee assessing the Proceeds of Crime Bill, but missed many of its meetings.


Boris Johnson usually supported the Conservative party line but rebelled against it five times in this period.


However, in 2001, Boris Johnson had spoken out against plans to repeal Section 28, saying it was "Labour's appalling agenda, encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools".


Boris Johnson remained editor of The Spectator, writing columns for The Daily Telegraph and GQ, and making television appearances.


Boris Johnson had a strained relationship with Duncan Smith, and The Spectator became critical of his party leadership.


Duncan Smith was removed from his position in November 2003 and replaced by Michael Howard; Howard deemed Boris Johnson to be the most popular Conservative politician with the electorate and appointed him vice-chairman of the party, responsible for overseeing its electoral campaign.


In November 2004, tabloids revealed that since 2000 Boris Johnson had been having an affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt, resulting in two terminated pregnancies.


Boris Johnson initially called the claims "an inverted pyramid of piffle".


Labour won the election and Howard stood down as Conservative leader; Boris Johnson backed David Cameron as his successor.


Interested in streamlining university funding, Boris Johnson supported Labour's proposed top-up fees.


Boris Johnson campaigned in 2006 to become the Rector of the University of Edinburgh, but his support for top-up fees damaged his campaign, and he came third.


Boris Johnson presented a popular history television show, The Dream of Rome, which was broadcast in January 2006; a book followed in February.


In July 2007, Boris Johnson announced his candidacy to be the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London in the 2008 mayoral election.


Boris Johnson's team believed this would cause controversy and made him promise to donate a fifth of his Daily Telegraph fee to a charitable cause providing bursaries for students.


Boris Johnson resented this, and ultimately did not pay a full fifth.


Controversy arose when Boris Johnson was accused of warning the MP Damian Green that police were planning to arrest him; Boris Johnson denied the claims and did not face criminal charges under the Criminal Justice Act.


Boris Johnson was accused of cronyism, in particular for appointing Veronica Wadley, a former Evening Standard editor who had supported him, as the chair of London's Arts Council when she was widely regarded as not being the best candidate for the position.


Boris Johnson was caught up in the parliamentary expenses scandal and accused of excessive personal spending on taxi journeys.


Boris Johnson remained a popular figure in London with a strong celebrity status.


Boris Johnson reversed several measures implemented by Livingstone's administration, ending the city's oil deal with Venezuela, abolishing The Londoner newsletter, and scrapping the half-yearly inspections of black cabs, which was reinstated three years later.


Boris Johnson was accused of failing to publish an independent report on air pollution commissioned by the Greater London Authority, which revealed the city breached legal limits on nitrogen dioxide levels.


Boris Johnson retained Livingstone projects such as Crossrail and the 2012 Olympic Games, but was accused of trying to take credit for them.


Boris Johnson ordered the construction of a cable car system that crossed the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.


Boris Johnson's first policy initiative was a ban on drinking alcohol on public transport.


Boris Johnson tried placating critics who had deemed him a bigot by appearing at London's gay pride parade and praising ethnic minority newspapers.


Boris Johnson appointed himself chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, and in October 2008 successfully pushed for the resignation of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair after the latter was criticised for allegedly handing contracts to friends and for his handling of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes.


Boris Johnson resigned as MPA chairman in January 2010, but throughout his mayoralty was highly supportive of the Metropolitan Police, particularly during the controversy surrounding the death of Ian Tomlinson.


Boris Johnson was criticised for his response to the 2011 London riots; holidaying with his family in British Columbia when the rioting broke out, he did not return immediately to London, only doing so 48 hours after it had begun and addressing Londoners 60 hours thereafter.


Boris Johnson spent much time with those involved in the financial services and criticised the government's 50p tax rate for higher earners.


Boris Johnson maintained extensive personal contacts throughout the British media, which resulted in widespread favourable press coverage of his administration.


Up for re-election in 2012, Boris Johnson again hired Crosby to orchestrate his campaign.


Boris Johnson's campaign emphasised the accusation that Livingstone was guilty of tax evasion, for which Livingstone called Boris Johnson a "bare-faced liar".


Boris Johnson was accused of covering up pollution ahead of the games by deploying dust suppressants to remove air particulates near monitoring stations.


In November 2013, Boris Johnson announced major changes to the operation of London Underground, including the extension of operating hours to run through the night at weekends.


Boris Johnson intervened to allow her onto three trade mission trips.


The Sunday Times said in September 2019 that Boris Johnson failed to declare his personal relationship as a conflict of interest.


The report found Boris Johnson should have declared an interest concerning Arcuri and that his failure to do this could have breached the London Assembly's code of conduct.


In 2015, Boris Johnson criticised then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's false comments that there were no-go zones in London governed by shariah and inaccessible for non-Muslims.


Boris Johnson said Trump was "betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him, frankly, unfit to hold the office of president of the United States", becoming the first senior politician in the UK to declare Trump unfit for office, but rejecting calls for him to be banned from the country.


Boris Johnson left office still popular with the people of London.


In 2016, Sadiq Khan announced that three German-made water cannon, which Boris Johnson had bought for the Metropolitan Police without waiting for clearance from the then-Home Secretary Theresa May, were to be sold, with the proceeds going to youth services.


In February 2016, Boris Johnson endorsed Vote Leave in the "Out" campaign for the 2016 European Union membership referendum.


Boris Johnson called Cameron's warnings about leaving "greatly over exaggerated".


Boris Johnson supported Vote Leave's statement that the government was committed to Turkish accession to the EU at the earliest possible opportunity, contradicting the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign's view that Turkey "is not an issue in this referendum and it shouldn't be".


Boris Johnson was widely regarded as the front-runner to succeed him.


Boris Johnson announced he would not stand in the Conservative leadership election.


Shortly before this, Michael Gove, hitherto a Boris Johnson ally, concluded that Boris Johnson "cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead".


Boris Johnson's appointment ensured he would often be out of the country and unable to organise and mobilise backbenchers against her, while forcing him to take responsibility for problems caused by withdrawing from the EU.


When questioned by a journalist whether he would apologise for the poem, Boris Johnson dismissed the matter as "trivia".


Boris Johnson pledged to help Turkey join the EU and expressed support for Erdogan's government.


In May 2018, Boris Johnson backed the Iran nuclear deal framework, despite Donald Trump's withdrawal.


Boris Johnson said the deal brought economic benefits to the Iranian people.


Boris Johnson described the Gulen movement as a "cult" and supported Turkey's post-coup purges.


Boris Johnson said that Turkey's coup attempt "was deeply violent, deeply anti-democratic, deeply sinister and it was totally right that it was crushed".


Boris Johnson promised while in Northern Ireland that Brexit would leave the Irish border "absolutely unchanged".


Boris Johnson later expressed regret that the protester held differing views to his on alcohol.


Boris Johnson said he was reminded of photos of Hiroshima after the atom bomb had landed on it.


Boris Johnson condemned the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, comparing the situation with the displacement of Palestinians in 1948.


Boris Johnson supported the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting the Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin.


Boris Johnson said that US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a "moment of opportunity" for peace.


Buzzfeed reported Boris Johnson had been in contact with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former chief adviser.


In January 2019, Boris Johnson came under criticism for remarks he had made during the 2016 Leave campaign regarding the prospect of Turkish accession to the European Union; he denied making such remarks.


In March 2019, Boris Johnson said that expenditure on investigating historic allegations of child abuse, instead of more police on the streets, was money "spaffed up the wall".


The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found the errors were not inadvertent, and that Boris Johnson had failed on nine occasions to make declarations within the rules.


Boris Johnson advocated removing the backstop from any Brexit deal and replacing it with alternative arrangements.


Boris Johnson said he planned to raise the level at which low-paid workers start to pay National Insurance.


Boris Johnson received 114 votes in the first ballot of party MPs, 126 in the next, 143 votes in the third and 157 in the fourth.


Boris Johnson appointed Dominic Cummings, whom he worked with on the Vote Leave campaign, as his senior advisor.


Boris Johnson declared his intention to re-open negotiations on the withdrawal agreement, but talks did not immediately resume as the EU refused to accept Boris Johnson's pre-condition that the backstop be removed.


Boris Johnson's motion was unsuccessful as it failed to command the support of two-thirds of the House.


Boris Johnson created a new ministerial role to be held by himself, Minister for the Union, fulfilling a campaign pledge he had made in the leadership election.


Shortly after he had become prime minister, Boris Johnson's government announced increased public sector spending.


Boris Johnson conducted another reshuffle of his cabinet in September 2021.


Boris Johnson later said that he had been given emergency oxygen while in intensive care, and that doctors had made preparations in case of the event of his death.


The Boris Johnson ministry was accused of cronyism in their assignment of contracts related to the pandemic response.


In October 2020, Boris Johnson conceded that the UK's test and trace system and its specially developed contact tracing app, which had been criticised for their cost and operational issues, had caused "frustrations" and needed improvement.


In July 2021, Boris Johnson announced that most generalised public health restrictions in England would be lifted and replaced by recommendations.


In September 2021, Boris Johnson was pictured in a cabinet meeting, with "at least 30 people crammed shoulder-to-shoulder", without anyone wearing masks and with all windows apparently closed, contradicting government advice.


Boris Johnson had been offered a promotion to chief of staff before his departure.


The report concluded that Boris Johnson did not breach the Ministerial Code and that no conflict, or reasonably perceived conflict, of interest arose.


However, Lord Geidt expressed that it was "unwise" for Boris Johnson to have proceeded with refurbishments without "more rigorous regard for how this would be funded".


Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, wrote to Lord Geidt asking for evidence of the lack of conflict of interest and said that it was "frankly scarcely believable" that Boris Johnson did not know who was funding the refurbishments.


At the Conservative party conference in October 2021, Boris Johnson was criticised by Simon Wolfson, chairman of Next plc, a major party donor and Brexit supporter.


Wolfson said Boris Johnson had failed to address supply chain issues.


In November 2021, Boris Johnson backed a motion to block the suspension of Owen Paterson, a Conservative MP found to have abused his position by the independent standards commissioner after undertaking paid lobbying on behalf of two companies.


On 12 January 2022, Boris Johnson apologised to MPs in the Commons for "attending an event in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown", stating he believed it was "a work event".


Boris Johnson said that MPs should await the outcome of the independent inquiry into Westminster lockdown parties, led by senior civil servant Sue Gray, which he said "will report as soon as possible".


Boris Johnson therefore became the first prime minister in British history to have been sanctioned for breaking the law while in office.


Boris Johnson has deliberately misled the British people at every turn.


On 19 April 2022, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle decided that MPs would vote, on 21 April, on whether Boris Johnson should be referred to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee to investigate whether he knowingly misled Parliament.


Boris Johnson said none of the evidence showed he "knowingly" misled parliament, and added that "it is clear from this report that I have not committed any contempt of parliament".


The committee stated that Boris Johnson had "personal knowledge" over lockdown gatherings in No 10, which he could have disclosed to MPs.


Boris Johnson received criticism for the comment and his policy adviser, Munira Mirza, resigned three days later, saying in her resignation letter that Boris Johnson had made "a scurrilous accusation" against Starmer.


On 3 February, during an interview with Sky News, Boris Johnson defended his comments, stating that in 2013, Starmer apologised because the CPS had not investigated Savile; however, Boris Johnson then said: "I totally understand that he [Starmer] had nothing to do personally with those decisions".


Boris Johnson won the vote, with 211 in favour and 148 against.


Boris Johnson announced that had no intention of changing or resigning; senior Conservatives accused him of increasingly "delusional" behaviour.


Ministers initially said that Boris Johnson was unaware of any specific complaints against Pincher when he was appointed as deputy chief whip.


The BBC then reported that an official complaint and subsequent investigation into Pincher, while he was at the Foreign Office, had confirmed his misconduct, and that Boris Johnson had been made aware of the matter at that time.


Many of the MPs involved stated that the Pincher affair had led them to change their minds on the suitability of Boris Johnson to hold the office of prime minister.


Boris Johnson became prime minister the next day, after formally being appointed by Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle.


Some commentators noted that, while, as Boris Johnson said, Cincinnatus returned to his plough, he was later recalled to power.


Boris Johnson defended his decision citing "complexities and sensitivities", adding that he thought biological males should not compete in women's sport and women should have their own changing rooms.


In November 2020, Boris Johnson announced a 10-point plan for a "green industrial revolution", which would include an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, quadruple the amount of offshore wind power capacity within a decade, fund a variety of emissions-cutting proposals, and spurn a proposed green post-COVID-19 recovery.


Boris Johnson was accused of hypocrisy, by Anneliese Dodds of the Labour Party and others, for flying on a chartered private jet during COP26 to attend a reunion of Telegraph journalists at the Garrick Club.


Boris Johnson's government placed importance on maintaining the "Special Relationship" with the United States.


Boris Johnson said in July 2019 that his government would be very "pro-China" in an interview with the Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix TV.


Boris Johnson voiced support for Chinese president Xi Jinping's infrastructure investment effort, the Belt and Road Initiative, and promised to keep the United Kingdom "the most open economy in Europe" for Chinese investment.


Boris Johnson refused to describe the Chinese government's treatment of the Uyghur people as "genocide", despite use of the term by the United States.


Boris Johnson's government argued that genocide should be decided by the International Criminal Court.


Boris Johnson was dismissive of this, saying the pact was not intended to be adversarial towards China, and said that French officials should "prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break".


On 8 July 2021, the day after saying he was "apprehensive" about the future of Afghanistan following what was then the impending withdrawal of US troops, whilst announcing the near completion of British troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Boris Johnson expressed the view that there was "no military path to victory for the Taliban".


In May 2022, Boris Johnson readied a draft that would unilaterally change parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol, citing issues with medical supplies and cuts in VAT.


In November 2021, Boris Johnson warned that the European Union faces "a choice" between "sticking up for Ukraine" and approving the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline which runs from Russia to Europe.


On 1 February 2022, Boris Johnson arrived in Kyiv on a diplomatic visit.


On 14 February 2022, Boris Johnson warned an invasion of Ukraine could take place within 48 hours.


On 20 February 2022, Boris Johnson warned that Russia is planning the "biggest war in Europe since 1945" as Putin intends to invade and encircle the capital of Kyiv.


On 21 February 2022, Boris Johnson condemned Russia's diplomatic recognition of two self-proclaimed separatist republics in Donbas.


Boris Johnson condemned the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, and ensured the UK joined in international sanctions on Russian banks and oligarchs.


Boris Johnson later announced the UK would phase out Russian oil by the end of 2022.


On 9 April 2022, Boris Johnson travelled to Kyiv and met the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.


Boris Johnson was gifted the use of a West London home that is owned by the wife of Conservative donor Lord Bamford.


Ideologically, Boris Johnson has been described by himself and others as a "One-Nation Tory".


Purnell stated that Boris Johnson regularly changed his opinion on political issues, commenting on what she perceived to be "an ideological emptiness beneath the staunch Tory exterior".


Boris Johnson evoked the discourse of popular sovereignty and anti-establishment populism to portray Parliament as seeking to "sabotage" Brexit, and in doing so, presented himself "as the true representative of 'the people'".


In 2019, Al Jazeera editor James Brownswell said that although Boris Johnson had "leaned to the right" since the Brexit campaign, he remained "slightly more socially liberal" than much of his party.


In 2019 and 2020, Boris Johnson expressed support for the UK to have "net-zero" greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and spoke about increasing ambition for mitigating climate change through carbon capture and storage and a renewable energy transition.


Boris Johnson stated his opposition to a referendum on the Brexit withdrawal agreement.


On 19 August 2019, Boris Johnson wrote a letter to the EU and asked for the removal of the "backstop" accord, which had previously been agreed and signed by Theresa May during her premiership.


Boris Johnson proposed building a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, but has since scrapped this initiative.


Boris Johnson has been described by various biographers and commentators as having a light hearted and charming persona, many of whom suggest he has put significant thought and effort into developing this version of himself throughout his adult life.


Boris Johnson has been noted as making significant use of humour in relation to this, sometimes for explicitly political purposes.


Boris Johnson has said that "humour is a utensil that you can use to sugar the pill and to get important points across".


Boris Johnson is said to have a genuine desire to be liked.


Boris Johnson has been described, including by some of those that have known him personally, as heavily focused on his own interests, with an often vitriolic or irresponsible way of conducting himself in private.


Boris Johnson has been described as a divisive and controversial figure in British politics.


Boris Johnson has been considered a figure with broad appeal outside of the usual Conservative support base.


Boris Johnson's premiership has been described by historians as the most controversial and scandal-affected since that of David Lloyd George about a century earlier.


Since Boris Johnson was born in New York City to British parents, he first held British-American dual citizenship.


Boris Johnson has a knowledge of French, Italian, German, Spanish, Latin, and Ancient Greek, frequently employing and alluding to classical references in both his newspaper columns and his speeches.


Sonia Purnell wrote that Boris Johnson was a "highly evasive figure" when it came to his personal life, who remained detached from others and who had very few if any intimate friends.


In 2007, Boris Johnson said he had smoked cannabis before he went to university.


Boris Johnson partakes in cycling, tennis and pilates, and was formerly an avid runner before having to give it up owing to knee problems.


Boris Johnson's weight has fluctuated throughout his career; he was considered obese in 2018 and overweight in 2020, and has spoken of making efforts to lose weight.


Boris Johnson was baptised a Catholic and later confirmed into the Church of England, but has said that his faith "comes and goes" and that he is not a serious practising Christian.


In 2020, his son Wilfred was baptised Catholic, prompting suggestions that Boris Johnson had returned to Catholicism.


Boris Johnson holds ancient Greek statesman and orator Pericles as a personal hero.


In 1987, Boris Johnson married Allegra Mostyn-Owen, daughter of the art historian William Mostyn-Owen and Italian writer Gaia Servadio.


The couple's marriage ended in divorce or annulment in 1993 and 12 days later Boris Johnson married Marina Wheeler, a barrister, daughter of journalist and broadcaster Charles Wheeler.


The Wheeler and Boris Johnson families have known each other for decades, and Marina Wheeler was at the European School, Brussels, at the same time as her future husband.


Between 2000 and 2004, Boris Johnson had an affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt when he was its editor, resulting in a terminated pregnancy and a miscarriage.


In 2009, Boris Johnson fathered a daughter with Helen Macintyre, an arts consultant.


In September 2021, after years of obfuscation, Boris Johnson stated that he had six children, thereby denying the existence of any further illegitimate children.


In 2019, Boris Johnson was living with Carrie Symonds, the daughter of Matthew Symonds, co-founder of The Independent newspaper.


On 29 May 2021, Boris Johnson married Symonds in a private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral attended by 30 guests, becoming the first prime minister to marry in office since Lord Liverpool married Mary Chester in 1822.


Boris Johnson's younger siblings are Rachel Johnson, a writer and journalist; Leo Johnson, a partner specialising in sustainability at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Jo Johnson, ex-minister of state and former Conservative MP for Orpington, who resigned from his brother's government in September 2019 and is a member of the House of Lords.


Boris Johnson stood as a candidate for Change UK in the 2019 European Elections.


Boris Johnson has two half-siblings, Julia and Maximilian, through his father's later marriage to Jennifer Kidd.


Boris Johnson's paternal grandfather, Wilfred Boris Johnson, was an RAF pilot in Coastal Command during the Second World War.


Wilfred Boris Johnson's father was the Ottoman Interior Minister and journalist Ali Kemal, who was a secular Muslim.


Boris Johnson's mother is the granddaughter of Elias Avery Lowe, a palaeographer, who was a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US, and Pennsylvania-born Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, a translator of Thomas Mann.


Johnson was given the middle name "Boris" after a White Russian emigre named Boris Litwin, who was a friend of his parents.