Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson (2019) Boris Johnson

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (* 19th June 1964 in New York City , United States ), called Boris , is a British journalist , politician of the Conservative Party , and since July 24, 2019 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom . From 1999 to December 2005, Johnson was editor of the conservative magazine The Spectator . Since 2015 he has represented the constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west Greater London in the House of Commons , for which he served from 2001 to 2008Henley had listened to. He was Mayor of London from May 2008 to May 2016 and UK Foreign Secretary from July 2016 to July 2018 .

Johnson led the UK exit campaign ahead of the June 23, 2016 referendum and was considered one of the favorites to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron at the time . On July 23, 2019, he was elected leader of the Conservative Party. He took over as Prime Minister from Theresa May a day later . In October 2019, he brought about a snap general election , which took place on December 12, 2019 and gave the Tories a majority in Parliament.

The UK has been overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 , and Johnson also fell ill. His policy against the pandemic was characterized by major changes in course.

Johnson is the Acting Chairman of the Commonwealth of Nations .



Alexander Boris Johnson, privately known as Alex , was born in New York City in 1964, the first of four children. His parents Stanley Johnson and Charlotte Johnson Wahl (1942-2021) were married in the first marriage, his father studied economics at Columbia University . Due to his place of birth, Johnson held both British and US citizenship , which he renounced in 2016. His father was a Conservative Party MEP in the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 . His maternal grandfather James Fawcett (1913–1991) was a member and President of the European Commission on Human Rights .

Johnson's Turkish paternal great-grandfather, Ali Kemal , was briefly Minister of the Interior of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 and was assassinated in 1922 at the instigation of Nureddin Pasha . Johnson's grandfather Osman Kemal then fled to London and took the name "Wilfred Johnson" as a Turkish citizen naturalized in Great Britain.

Great-grandparents on the mother's side were Elias Avery Lowe (1879–1969), an American paleographer , who came from Lithuania , which was then part of the Russian Empire , and emigrated to New York with his Jewish parents in 1892 , and his wife Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter (1877–1963) , a well-known American translator, particularly of the works of Thomas Mann . Johnson's brother Joseph is also a politician and has sat in the House of Lords since 2020 .

School education and studies (1973 to 1987)

Johnson attended the European School I in Brussels from 1973 to 1977 . A quote from Johnson's younger sister Rachel Johnson is known from this time: he explained to her as a little boy what he really wanted to be. He will be "the king of the world".

From the 1977/78 school year, Johnson was a student at Eton College , a private elite boarding school in Eton , where he began using the unusual middle name Boris instead of his first name in public appearances. He joined the Church of England at this time; his mother, on the other hand, was always a supporter of Catholicism. He then spent a gap year in Australia from 1982 to 1983 - teaching English and Latin at Geelong Grammar School, an elite boarding school in Victoria . From 1983 to 1987 Johnson studied Classics at Balliol College , Oxford University . Johnson graduated in 1987 with a Master of Arts degree . Both at Eton and Oxford, he was noticed as an interesting personality and achieved a high level of awareness in both institutions compared to other fellow students. His two best friends during this period were also descendants of the British upper class: Darius Guppy, who was later convicted of insurance fraud, and the 9th Earl Spencer , younger brother of Crown Princess Diana . At Oxford, Johnson was President of the Oxford Union debating circle and a member of the Bullingdon Club , as well as co-editor with Guppy of the satirical magazine Tributary . Johnson, Guppy and Spencer remained friends after college.

Journalistic career (1987 to 2008)

After graduating, Johnson initially received a trainee position at a management consultancy , but gave it up again after a week due to lack of interest and began a journalistic internship at the renowned daily newspaper The Times . He was fired for distorting a quote from his godfather, Colin Lucas, who later became the vice-president of Oxford University. He then wrote for the Mid England local paper Wolverhampton Express and Star . In 1987 he moved to the Daily Telegraph and subsequently frequently wrote the newspaper's editorials. From 1989 to 1994 he was a Brussels correspondent, fabricating reports on ridiculous EU regulations. From 1994 to 1999 he was associate editor of the newspaper and then moved to the conservative weekly The Spectator as editor-in-chief , for which he had previously provided occasional political commentary in 1994 and 1995.

Johnson first came to public attention in April 1998 with an appearance on the television show Have I Got News For You . Other appearances on this show followed. He was now recognized by people on the street and later appeared on other television shows such as Top Gear and Question Time .

On October 16, 2004, an editorial in the Spectator caused a scandal. The occasion was the reporting of the kidnapping and murder of British man Kenneth Bigley by Iraqi terrorists. The article harshly criticized the fact that the residents of Bigley's hometown of Liverpool were wallowing in victimhood on Bigley's behalf. The article also blamed drunken Liverpool football fans for the Hillsborough disaster . The text appeared uncredited, but Johnson took responsibility as editor of the Spectator . Since he was already prominently active for the Tories at that time , his party feared political damage. Party leader Michael Howard ordered Johnson to Liverpool to apologize. On a live BBC broadcast, Paul Bigley, the murdered man's brother, called and berated Johnson. Even after he was elected the new Prime Minister in 2019, he expressly refused to apologize for the article's statements.

private life

Johnson's first marriage to Allegra Mostyn-Owen was in 1987 and they divorced in 1993. In the same year he married lawyer Marina Wheeler, who was the same age. From this marriage two sons and two daughters were born. In September 2018, the couple announced in a joint statement that they are now living apart and are divorcing.

In 2019 it became known that Boris Johnson is the father of an illegitimate daughter born in 2009.

In June 2019, Johnson's relationship with political advisor Carrie Symonds became known. She was dubbed "First Girlfriend" by the media. After the general election on December 12, 2019 , she moved in with Johnson at his official residence at No. Downing Street. 10 in which he had lived alone until then. In April 2020, Johnson and his fiancée welcomed a son. They were married at Westminster Cathedral on 29 May 2021 . Their daughter was born in December 2021.

Political career

Pre-run and election for Mayor of London 2008

Boris Johnson, popularly known as BoJo , announced the possibility of running for mayor in 2008 on July 16, 2007. He resigned as a member of the shadow cabinet , where he had been responsible for higher education until then. On September 27, 2007, he was named the Conservative Party candidate after receiving 75% of the vote in a public, citywide primary .

Johnson promised new Routemaster -like buses if elected mayor (2007)

The Conservative Party hired Australian Lynton Crosby to run Johnson's campaign. Because of Johnson's propensity for making blunders, Crosby ensured that Johnson rarely did interviews with print and television media, and instead appeared on daytime radio talk shows and television programs where "easy" questions were asked. Johnson's campaign focused heavily on conservative-leaning suburbs of outer London , capitalizing on local residents' sense of being overlooked by the Ken Livingstone administration. In the May 1, 2008 election, Johnson received 53 percent of the vote, replacing Ken Livingstone. Johnson was confirmed in office on May 3, 2012 with 51.5 percent of the vote in the second round of counting for a further term, again with Livingstone as the strongest opponent.

Served as Mayor of London (2008-2016)

Johnson delivers a speech at City Hall to mark his victory in the 2008 Mayor of London election .

Public transport tickets

At the beginning of his tenure as mayor , Johnson announced that he would introduce the Oyster card , a public transport season ticket, for the entire rail network. One of the goals in Johnson's manifesto was to preserve subway ticket offices, contrary to Livingstone's announcement that 40 outlets would be closed. In July 2008, the mayor's office announced that the outlets would not be closed.

Alcohol ban on public transport

A few days after taking office, Johnson announced on May 7, 2008 a ban on alcohol on public transport in London, which then came into effect on June 1 of the same year. The ban applies to vehicles and stations on London Underground , buses, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and trams in south London , and London Overground , the S-Bahn-like services.

New Routemaster bus (double decker)

New Bus for London , NB4L or Borismaster on route 38

As part of his 2008 election campaign, Johnson announced that he would procure a replacement for the popular Routemaster bus, London's signature red double-decker bus , one of the city's landmarks . Johnson promised that the new type of bus would also have a "hop-on, hop-off" platform like the old buses. After a design competition, Wrightbus was commissioned to build the new type of bus . The first vehicles, also known as Borismasters after Johnson's first name and the name of the old bus , began regular service in February 2012, and the first complete line with the new vehicles in the summer of 2013. Over 600 new buses were ordered. However, contrary to Johnson's promises, the new buses have doors and no platforms for safety reasons.

bicycle traffic

A keen cyclist, Johnson has had some success since taking office in 2008 through efforts to promote cycling in London, partly building on the work of Ken Livingstone's administration.

In January 2013, Johnson appointed journalist Andrew Gilligan as London Bicycle Commissioner , although Gilligan had few qualifications to do so. In March 2013, Johnson announced that he would invest almost one billion pounds in the coming years to make cycling safer and thus more attractive to broader sections of the population (“to de-Lycrafy cycling”), with the bicycle infrastructure being expanded. Also included in the program is a ' Crossrail for bikes', a 15-mile stretch of dedicated cycle lanes running east-west across London (named after a major rail project).

The bikes in London's Santander Cycles bike hire scheme ( Barclays Cycle Hire until March 2015 ) are commonly called "Boris Bikes" because Johnson was the mayor at the time the scheme was introduced and has expanded it significantly during his tenure.

Night subway service on weekends

On November 21, 2013, Johnson announced major changes to London Underground's operations, including extending underground operations to weekend nights. At the same time, he announced that all underground ticket offices would be replacing premises and staff with ticket machines or other systems, saving over £40m a year.

return to Parliament

Johnson initially denied working towards a return to the House of Commons during his tenure as mayor. However, on 26 August 2014 he said he was aiming to be nominated as the safe constituency candidate of Uxbridge and South Ruislip for the 7 May 2015 general election. On September 12, 2014, he was nominated as a candidate. In an interview with the BBC on 24 March 2015, Prime Minister Cameron Johnson named one of his possible successors as Prime Minister (alongside George Osborne and Theresa May ).

On May 7, 2015, Johnson was elected; he received 50.2% of the votes cast in his constituency.

Leading role in the Brexit election campaign

In early 2016, Johnson initially refused to speak out in favor of Brexit . On February 21, 2016, he expressed his support for Vote Leave , an organization founded on October 8 to campaign for Brexit, for the EU referendum on June 23, 2016 . He described Cameron's arguments against leaving the EU as "excessively exaggerated" and "scaremongering". Cameron tried very hard in his negotiations for an EU reform, but he was not convinced of the result. He wants a fundamental change in the UK's relationship with the EU. Following his statement, sterling fell nearly 2 percent to its lowest level since March 2009. Johnson quickly emerged as one of the spokesmen for the exit campaign. Johnson said the EU is trying to create a "European super-state". "Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried it and it ended tragically. The EU is trying to achieve this in a different way.”

On the morning of June 24, Cameron announced his resignation as Prime Minister and Tory leader. Johnson was considered one of the favorites for these offices until he surprisingly announced on June 30, 2016 that he was not running for them. Shortly before, Attorney General Michael Gove , who until then had been considered Johnson's closest ally, announced his own candidacy to succeed Cameron, harshly criticizing Johnson. Gove said Johnson was unable to provide the necessary political leadership or build the team for the tasks ahead.

In the ensuing debate about the future Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, Johnson spoke out in favor of Andrea Leadsom .

Secretary of State (2016–2018)

Secretary of State Johnson during his 2017 visit to Japan
Johnson during the 53rd Munich Security Conference 2017

Theresa May appointed Johnson to her first cabinet as Foreign Secretary in July 2016, following her appointment as Prime Minister .

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on July 14, 2016 that Johnson had lied to the British and now has his back against the wall himself.

After the snap general election on June 8, 2017 , May Johnson left his post. In mid-September 2017, Johnson released a widely publicized statement outlining his "vision for a prosperous post-Brexit UK".

As Secretary of State, Johnson was criticized on a number of occasions for clumsy and frivolous conduct. When British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and accused of running a journalism course that spread anti-Iran propaganda, she said she was only visiting her grandparents in Iran . Johnson, seeking her release in 2017, said in a statement that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had done nothing more in Iran "than to train journalists." Four days after his testimony, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was back on trial in Iran and Johnson's testimony was specifically cited by the prosecution as evidence against them.

In the spring of 2018, after the poisoning of the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal , who lived in England, Johnson said in a radio interview that the poison used "without a doubt" came from Russia, although the British experts could only determine from the chemical composition that it was resembled a poison developed in the former Soviet Union. The Russian side then used Johnson's formulation to sow doubts about the British investigative work and sincerity.

On July 9, 2018, Johnson resigned from the post of Secretary of State, shortly after the resignation of David Davis , who had headed the Department for Brexit . Like Davis, Johnson was counted among the hardliners when it came to the structure of Great Britain's exit from the EU.

Prime Minister (since 2019)

Until the start of the COVID pandemic

After Theresa May announced her resignation as Conservative party leader on 7 June 2019 after several defeats in the House of Commons on Brexit, Johnson and several other prominent Tory politicians ran for the successor.

According to the statutes of the Conservative Party , the members of the Conservative House of Commons voted in several rounds of voting, with the last-placed being eliminated in each round. The party members decided between the two remaining candidates in a ballot.

Conservative House of Commons votes on future Conservative Party leader
candidate 1st round of voting
June 13, 2019
2nd round of voting
June 18, 2019
3rd round of voting
June 19, 2019
4th round of voting
June 20, 2019
5th round of voting
June 20, 2019
Boris Johnson 114 126 143 157 160
Jeremy Hunt 043 046 054 059 077
Michael Gove 037 041 051 061 075
Sajid Javid 023 033 038 034
Rory Stewart 019 037 027
Dominic Raab 027 030
Matt Hancock 020
Andrea Leadsom 011
Mark Harper 010
Esther McVey 009
voting 313 313 313 311 312

In the ballot, Johnson won by 92,153 votes (66.3%) over Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt , who received 46,656 votes (33.7%). 87.4% of the 159,320 party members took part in the vote.

Following May's resignation on 24 July 2019, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Johnson Prime Minister in his capacity as leader of the majority party in the House of Commons on the same day.

The Johnson cabinet continued the minority government of the May cabinet . At the end of July 2019 it was announced that Johnson wanted to prepare the public for a no-deal Brexit with a £100m PR campaign.

In August 2019, his government circles published a government document dated the same time, which contains an assessment of the immediate consequences of a no-deal Brexit. Michael Gove , who is responsible in the Cabinet for planning in the event of a no-deal Brexit, said the worst-case document was not up-to-date. In the same month, Johnson wrote to the EU that he wanted to renegotiate the agreement so that it did not contain a backstop clause . This clause is undemocratic and violates Great Britain's sovereignty. He rejects a temporary stay in the European Customs Union because this would mean that Great Britain could not pursue an independent trade policy .

On August 28, 2019, the Queen complied with Prime Minister Johnson's request and suspended the House of Commons for five weeks, from September 10 to October 14, 2019. Johnson explained that his government wanted to be involved before leaving the European Union start their "domestic political agenda". British governments usually presented their plans at the start of a new session in a Queen's Speech, usually preceded by a few days' leave of absence from Parliament. Even before the forced break in parliament , MPs passed a bill that prevented Johnson's no-deal Brexit . An early parliamentary election, which Boris Johnson then requested or put to the vote, was rejected; it did not reach the required two-thirds majority. The head of government is the first prime minister since 1894 to lose the first vote in the lower house. On September 24, the Supreme Court ruled that the extended leave of absence was unlawful, null and of no effect and that Parliament was not on leave of absence but remained in session. At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Johnson publicly presented new proposals for a withdrawal agreement that Britain was proposing to the EU. At the core of the proposals is a regulatory border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Conservatives' coalition partner, the DUP , welcomed the proposals. Several Labor MPs also signaled their support should the proposals go to the House of Commons.

In the general election on December 12, 2019 , the Conservatives received 43.6% of the vote (up 1.2 percentage points); Labor got 32.2 (down 7.8 percentage points). The Tories won 365 seats out of 650 (up 47 seats) and Labor 203 (down 59). Not only did the Conservatives triumph in their traditional strongholds, they also made substantial gains in northern England, where they won several seats in the so-called red wall (a series of House seats held by Labor for decades). Johnson defended his seat in the Uxbridge & Ruislip South constituency, where he received 52.6% of the vote - up 1.8 percentage points from the previous election. During the election campaign, he was the only top candidate to refuse an interview with BBC journalist Andrew Neil, which he severely criticized.

In February 2020, Johnson carried out a major reshuffle, sacking four ministers: Andrea Leadsom, Theresa Villiers , Julian Smith and Geoffrey Cox . In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer , Sajid Javid , resigned from office after a power struggle with Johnson over his powers; he was replaced by Rishi Sunak . Javid had been presented with an ultimatum by Johnson to either sack two of his advisers and set up a post to allow closer control by 10 Downing Street, or be sacked in the cabinet reshuffle.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic

In late March 2020, Johnson contracted SARS-CoV-2 during the COVID - 19 pandemic ; he initially carried on the official business. His pregnant fiancée was also ill. He was admitted to London's St Thomas' Hospital on April 5, 2020 and transferred to intensive care on April 6 . Johnson commissioned British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to take over government business on his behalf. After three nights, Johnson's condition had improved enough that he was transferred back to a normal infirmary on April 9. Johnson left the hospital on April 12. In a statement, he thanked the staff at the London hospital: "I owe them my life." On April 27, 2020, he resumed government business.

Johnson's policy against the pandemic is characterized by major changes in course. In June 2020, Johnson announced a multi-billion dollar aid program in response to the economic crisis caused by COVID, which he analogized to FD Roosevelt's New Deal . He argued that a return to austerity is wrong at this time.

In the dispute over the Black Lives Matter protests against public statues of historical figures (including Winston Churchill's Westminster statue, which was vandalized), Johnson opposed the removal of various statues from public space. He also commented negatively on the removal of the statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes from Oriel College and said he stood by British history and all the mistakes it made. He compared the distance to a politician who secretly changed his entry on Wikipedia for the better.

In the dispute over the participation of the Chinese company Huawei in the expansion of 5G technology in Great Britain, the government had to deal with a different view of the United States, which Huawei had declared a security risk. At the beginning of July 2020, there was also a backbench revolt within the party; around 60 rebels around Iain Duncan Smith called on Johnson to stop any Huawei involvement in the network expansion. Johnson's government, which was threatened with a vote defeat, then gave in. The Minister responsible, Oliver Dowden, announced in the House of Commons that he would exclude Huawei from the 5G expansion. A purchasing ban will come into force at the end of 2020 and from 2027 there will no longer be any 5G technology from Huawei in the British networks.

In September 2020, Johnson campaigned for an internal trade bill that would contradict the Northern Ireland provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. Johnson said the EU plans to impose a "food blockade" between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain, according to EU negotiator Michel Barnier . His government admitted in the House of Commons that the controversial law violated international law. All of the surviving former Prime Ministers, as well as a number of Conservative party figures (such as former Justice Secretary Geoffrey Cox and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid ), opposed Johnson's proposal, which he said would shame Britain's standing internationally. Great Britain has been fighting the second wave of corona since September 2020 .

On December 24, 2020, four and a half years after the Brexit vote, the UK and the EU struck a trade deal ; the risks of a no-deal Brexit (which would have happened from 1 January 2021 without a deal) were thus averted at the last minute.

Due to the loss of Eastern European migrant workers , Great Britain has been experiencing a supply crisis (particularly for fuel ) since autumn 2021. From 2020 to autumn 2021, 300,000 workers had left the UK. In the logistics sector alone, Great Britain will be short of 100,000 truck drivers after Brexit. Johnson downplayed the problem, saying it was temporary.

On December 14, 2021, a majority of MPs voted to tighten measures against the COVID pandemic and the highly contagious omicron variant . Nearly 100 Tory MPs voted against the bill, leaving Johnson's government dependent on opposition Labor Party votes.

On December 18, 2021, Brexit Minister David Frost submitted his resignation and expressed concern about the future political direction (→ Details ).

In the last months of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, Johnson's reign was marked by numerous controversies; the costly renovation of the Johnsons' private flats in Downing Street became the subject of an official inquiry; the work commissioned by his wife and financed with undeclared donations led to a fine being imposed on the party. On January 12, 2022, Johnson apologized to the House of Commons for a garden party that took place during the May 2020 lockdown. He admitted attending the gathering on May 20, 2020 and said he understood the public's anger about it. He apologized that no one had warned him that this was against the rules. This statement was promptly denied by his ex-adviser Dominic Cummings. Several Conservative MPs called on the Prime Minister to resign from government, including Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross , who had earlier called for Johnson's resignation. During the weekly Question Time in the House of Commons on January 19, 2022, he was urged to resign by David Davis with a pointed historical reference to the case of Neville Chamberlain .

To the reception

Boris Johnson self -identifies as a supporter of One Nation Conservatism , representing the left wing of the Conservatives. The London Times described Johnson's political positions as in some cases more liberal than conservative. His biographer Sonia Purnell described Johnson's political views as an ideological void, as he was constantly changing his views on various political issues. If nothing else, he is an elitist.

Niall Ferguson also described Johnson as a one-nation Tory aiming at national cohesion and social security. More in the tradition of Benjamin Disraeli , Johnson pushed the Tories into the middle with his national conservatism.

In March 2008, British journalist and historian Max Hastings , who had been Johnson's boss at the Daily Telegraph for several years, compared then-London mayoral candidate Johnson to PG Wodehouse character Gussie Fink-Nottle . Like Gussie, Johnson is characterized by charm, wit and brilliance, but also alarming signs of a certain instability. In June 2019, Hastings reiterated his criticism and warned against Johnson being elected party leader: “There is room for debate about whether he is a scoundrel or mere rogue, but not much about his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth. […] He is unfit for national office because it seems he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification.” (German: One can argue whether he is a scoundrel or just a rascal, but in any case he is morally bankrupt and has only contempt for the truth. [...] He is not fit for public office because it seems that nothing really matters to him except his own fame and the fulfillment of his own interests.)

Especially after the referendum and Johnson's surprise resignation from the prime ministerial bid, the media increasingly focused on Johnson's character and his role in British politics.

Dominic Raab , Foreign Secretary in Johnson's cabinet from 2019, wrote on June 30, 2016 before the announcement of Gove's candidacy, alluding to a previous Heineken slogan in a Sun op-ed :

Dominic Raab: “He [Johnson]'s got the Heineken effect that refreshes the parts that more conventional politicians cannot reach. … The Conservatives must be the party of the aspirational underdog. Boris and Michael Gove will make a formidable partnership.” (English: He [Johnson] has the Heineken effect, refreshing the parts that conventional politicians fail to reach. [...] The Conservatives must be the party of the emerging underprivileged . Boris and Michael Gove will make an impressive duo.)

Amber Rudd , Labor Secretary in the May and Johnson cabinet, criticized Boris Johnson in a televised debate on the EU referendum, saying: “He's the life and soul of the party but he's not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening." (German: He is the center of the party, but he is not the man you want to be driven home by in the evening.)

The FAZ wrote in December 2021:

Not only government critics recognize a pattern in Johnson's missteps that allows conclusions to be drawn about his character. Conservative commentators recalled that Johnson became prime minister not because he was popular or even considered suitable within his party, but because he was believed to be able to end the bleak May era and win elections. [...] A surprising number agree that these deficits will bring Johnson down — but also that it is to be expected later rather than sooner.

Allister Heath, editor-in-chief of the pro-Tory Sunday Telegraph newspaper , lamented a "toxic combination" at Downing Street of "incompetence and moral failure".

Selection and control of media access

As Prime Minister, Johnson often came into conflict with the media. He then cultivated an exclusive policy towards the media. Johnson's speech to the nation on Brexit on January 31, 2020 was recorded by his own staff instead of the usual UK TV channels.

Johnson had correspondents from several UK media outlets barred from his press briefing in early February 2020, including journalists from the Independent , HuffPost and the Mirror . In protest against the exclusion, all other journalists also left the meeting and the appointment was cancelled.


Through his German great-great-great-grandmother, Adelheid Pauline Karoline von Rottenburg (1805–1872), illegitimate daughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg , Boris Johnson is distantly related to numerous heads of state from the European aristocracy. Paul von Württemberg's mother was a great-granddaughter of King George II of Great Britain . Boris Johnson is a 6th grand-nephew of both Queen Elizabeth II, through her lineage passing through her grandmother Queen Mary , and Prince Philip ; their last Württemberg common ancestor was Duke Friedrich Eugen von Württemberg. Also through Paul von Württemberg, he is a 5th nephew of King Harald V of Norway, and a 5th cousin of King Philippe of Belgium, Queen Margrethe II , Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and King Carl XVI . Gustav of Sweden.

This noble family also includes the politician Beatrix von Storch , who is Boris Johnson's 5th cousin.

Karoline von Rottenburg's husband was Karl Maximilian Freiherr von Pfeffel (1811–1890), son of the Bavarian envoy Christian Hubert von Pfeffel (1765–1834) and grandson of the French Zweibrücken diplomat Christian Friedrich Pfeffel von Kriegelstein . Through his ancestor Magdalena Kriegelstein von Wandelburg (1570–1620), widowed Herr, remarried Birr, Johnson is also a relative of Princess Grace and her son Prince Albert II of Monaco and Albert Schweitzer .

A Basel crypt mummy found in 1975 was identified in 2018 as his great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Anna Catharina Bischoff (1719-1787).

For the wedding to Allegra Mostyn-Owen on September 5, 1987, the German composer Hans Werner Henze wrote the work "Allegra e Boris" for violin and viola.


In 2001, Johnson published a report on the British election campaign : Jottings on the Stump . Johnson went on to publish two books of journalism ( Johnson's Column and Lend Me Your Ears ). In 2004 his first novel Seventy-Two Virgins (German title: 72 Jungfrauen ) was published, in which he satirically tells about a terrorist attack on the US President in London. In 2014, Johnson published The Churchill Factor , a biography of his political hero, Winston Churchill.

In the wake of the Böhmermann affair , Johnson took part in The Spectator magazine 's President Erdoğan offensive poetry competition in 2016 and won with the following Limerick :

“There was a young fellow from Ankara

Who was a terrible wanker

Till he sowed his wild oats

With the help of a goat

But he didn't even stop to thankera."

–Boris Johnson


  • Andrew Gimson: Boris: The Rise of Boris Johnson. Simon & Schuster, London 2006, ISBN 0-7432-7584-5 .
  • Sonia Purnell: Just Boris: Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity. Aurum Press Ltd, London 2011, ISBN 978-1-84513-665-9 .
  • Tom Bower: Boris Johnson: The Gambler. W.H. Allen, London 2020, ISBN 978-0-7535-5491-3 .
  • Jan Roß: Boris Johnson: Portrait of a troublemaker. Rowohlt, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-7371-0106-6 .
  • Peter Oborne: The Assault on Truth. Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergency of a New Moral Barbarism. Simon & Schuster, London 2021, ISBN 978-1-39850-101-0 .

web links

Commons : Boris Johnson  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


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  2. Who is Boris Johnson? The eccentric blond New Yorker set to rule the UK. In: The Guardian , 25 June 2016 (English); Boris Johnson among record number to renounce US citizenship in 2016. In The Guardian , 8 February 2017.
  3. Boris Johnson is related to ten US presidents. (Dated August 2, 2019; Accessed September 21, 2019.)
  4. The Boris Johnson story. BBC News, 4 May 2008, accessed 9 May 2011 (English).
  5. Jüdische Allgemeine on July 4, 2019: Just not Labor (Accessed August 5, 2019.)
  6. Todd Endelman, Leaving the Jewish Fold , 2015, p. 326.
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  9. Sonia Purnell: Just Boris: Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity. Aurum Press Ltd., London 2011, p. 45 ff.
  10. Sonia Purnell: Just Boris: Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity. Aurum Press Ltd., London 2011, p. 48.
  11. Sonia Purnell: Just Boris: Boris Johnson: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity. Aurum Press Ltd., London 2011, p. 70.
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  16. Paul Bigley tells Johnson to quit. BBC News , October 20, 2004
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  20. Frederica Miller: Boris Johnson children: Does Boris Johnson have children? How many children does he have? Daily Express , July 23, 2019, retrieved January 2, 2020 (English).
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  22. Rob Merrick: Boris Johnson: Tory minister attacks 'lefty neighbours' for telling police of loud altercation involving likely new PM, then deletes tweet. The Independent , June 22, 2019, retrieved January 2, 2020 (English).
  23. Gina Thomas: Britain's first 'First Girlfriend'. In: FAZ . January 2, 2020, retrieved January 2, 2020 .
  24. Boris Johnson has become a father again., April 29, 2020, accessed April 29, 2020 .
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predecessor government office successor
Ken Livingstone Mayor of London
Sadiq Khan