Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is a Conservative MP and was UK Foreign Secretary from July 2016 to July 2018. [1]

He served as London Mayor from 2008 to 2016.

In 2015 he was elected as the Conservative MP for Uxbridge & Ruislip South with a majority of 10,695.[2] He was also announced in David Cameron's 'political cabinet' but without a government job as he devoted his attention to his final year as Mayor London.[3]


Boris Johnson was born on 19 June 1964 in New York, USA, educated at Eton, (King’s Scholar) and Balliol College, Oxford (Brackenbury Scholar in Classics).[4] The pollster Frank Luntz has claimed that while at Oxford Johnson touted himself as a supporter of the Social Democratic Party, then a dominant current at the university, as a strategy to win the Union presidency, though Johnson denies he was more than the SDP's preferred candidate.[5] Along with David Cameron he was a member of Oxford's Bullingdon Club, a student dining society known for its raucous feasts.[6]

He is the brother of Conservative MP Jo Johnson.[7]


After graduating in 1987, Johnson became a trainee reporter with the Times newspaper but was sacked within a year for falsifying a quotation from his godfather Colin Lucas.[8]

Johnson's official biography on the London Mayor website states:

After a short time as a writer for the Wolverhampton Express and Star, he joined The Daily Telegraph in 1987 as leader and feature writer. From 1989 to 1994 he was the Telegraph's European Community correspondent and from 1994 to 1999 he served as assistant editor. His association with The Spectator began as political columnist in 1994. In 1999 he became editor of the paper and stayed in this role until December 2005.[9]
In 2001 he was elected MP for Henley on Thames, replacing Michael Heseltine. He has held shadow government posts as Vice Chairman, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister of Higher Education. In July 2007, Boris Johnson resigned from his position as shadow education secretary so that he would be free to stand as Conservative candidate for Mayor London. He resigned as MP for Henley shortly after becoming Mayor of London.[10]

Then Conservative leader Michael Howard sacked Johnson as shadow arts minister in 2004 for lying about an affair with Spectator journalist Petronella Wyatt.[11]


Johnson was elected Mayor of London in May 2008.[12]

Staff appointments

Johnson appointed Richard Barnes as his Deputy Mayor on 6 May 2008, as well as appointing the following to newly devolved offices; Ian Clement as Deputy Mayor for Government Relations, Kit Malthouse as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Ray Lewis as Deputy Mayor for Young People.[13]

Johnson appointed Nicholas Boles, the founder of Policy Exchange, as his Chief of Staff. Other Policy Exchange appointees included his cultural advisor Munira Mirza and Dan Ritterband.[14]

Political opponents questioned Johnson's judgement when Ray Lewis resigned on 4 July 2008, shortly after taking up his post, following allegations of financial misconduct during his prior career as a Church of England priest and inappropriate behaviour in respect of a false claim to have been appointed as a magistrate.[15] Johnson himself said that he was "misled" by Lewis.[16]

EU referendum debate

In the run up to the UK's referendum on membership of the European Union, Johnson came out sensationally in a Telegraph article on 16 March 2016 in favour of a Brexit vote on 23 June 2016. Johnson's argument is centred around the fact that the European project has morphed out of all recognition since its inception, and that it's interests and the interests of Britain, which is coming into it's stride economically and politically, are no longer aligned. He feels the British offering to the world can be much improved from unshackling from our European partners, given the onslaught that Brussels is making on the closely-held British values:

'We have given so much to the world, in ideas and culture, but the most valuable British export and the one for which we are most famous is the one that is now increasingly in question: parliamentary democracy – the way the people express their power.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to vote for real change in Britain’s relations with Europe. This is the only opportunity we will ever have to show that we care about self-rule. A vote to Remain will be taken in Brussels as a green light for more federalism, and for the erosion of democracy.' [17]

Register of interests

Lobbying for The City

Correspondence obtained by SpinWatch reveals that in December 2009 TheCityUK's chairman Stuart Popham hosted a lunch attended by Johnson, the then shadow chancellor, George Osborne, and Goldman Sachs International's co-CEO Michael Sherwood.

“The purpose of the lunch”, according to a letter from Johnson dated 21 December 2009, “is to discuss threats to London's competitiveness as a global financial centre”, as well as “to hear your concerns and suggestions, and to reassure you that we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure London retains its position.”[19]

Days before the lunch, Johnson had written to Goldman's Chair and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, to restate his support for the City: “I will strongly defend London's financial services industry against the threats of punitive taxation and new burdensome EU regulations”, he wrote.[19]

Dinner with Lobbyists

Details of the attendees and seating plans of the Conservative's 2013 summer ball, an event where tickets cost up to £12,000 each and allows attendees to sit at the table with ministers, were leaked by the Guardian. It revealed that Johnson shared a table with Andrei Borodin, an exiled Russian banker who is wanted by the Kremlin for an alleged £220m bank fraud, which he denies.[20]


In October 2007, Johnson received a donation of £20,000.00 from hedge fund manager and Conservative peer, Stanley Fink.

Johnson received £5,000.00 from Australian businessman Michael Hintze via three donations in 2007 and 2008.

In February 2008, Johnson received £15,000.00 from JCB chairman Anthony Bamford.

In March 2008 Johnson received £5,000.00 from the founder of Numis Corporation, Oliver Hemsley[21]

Has received a glass paperweight, engraved trowel worth £500, tickets to Berkeley ball from property boss Tony Pidgley.[22]

Special advisers


External Resources




  1. 'Whos in Whos out? May's new cabinet', 14 July 2016, BBC News, accessed 15 July 2016
  2. BBC News Uxbridge & Ruislip South, accessed 11 May 2015.
  3. Ann Gripper David Cameron's 2015 cabinet: Meet the ministers appointed in all Conservative post-election reshuffle Mirror, 11 May 2015, accessed 11 May 2015.
  4. About Boris,, accessed 23 August 2008.
  5. "Pandora column: A youthful flirtation comes back to haunt Boris", by Henry Deedes The Independent, 9 August 2006. Retrieved on 23 August 2008.
  6. Cameron's cronies in the Bullingdon class of '87, Daily Mail 13 February 2007
  7. Sarah Priddy, PIL: Current Members Related to Other Current or Former Members - Commons Library Standard Note, 13 September 2013.
  8. Boris Johnson's media scrapes BBC News, 17 July 2007.
  9. Mayor of London - biography, Greater London Authority, accessed 24 August 2008.
  10. Mayor of London - biography, Greater London Authority, accessed 24 August 2008.
  11. Boris Johnson sacked for lying over affair, by Andrew Porter and Nicholas Hellen, The Sunday Times, 14 November 2004.
  12. Johnson Wins London Mayoral Race BBC News, 3 May 2008.
  13. Boris Johnson announces further senior appointments to his administration Greater London Authority, 5 June 2008
  14. Boris Tory HQ team puts reins on Boris Johnsonby Robert Watts and Jonathan Oliver, The Sunday Times, 11 May 2008.
  15. London mayor: Johnson forced to remove his deputy mayor after magistrate claim proves false by Matthew Taylor and Dave Hill, The Guardian, 5 July 2008.
  16. Mayor Johnson 'misled' by deputy BBC News, 5 July 2008.
  17. Boris Johnson, 'Boris Johnson exclusive: There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU', 16 March 2016, The Telegraph, accessed 23 June 2016
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Register of interests of members' secretaries and research assistants, 23 March 2016,, accessed 21 April 2016
  19. 19.0 19.1 SpinWatch, Doing God’s Work: How Goldman Sachs Rigs the Game - SpinWatch investigation detailing Goldman Sachs’ secret lobbying activities in the UK and Brussels and links to politicians. Published on Scribd, March 2011. p8.
  20. Robert Booth, Nick Mathiason, Luke Harding and Melanie Newman Tory summer party drew super-rich supporters with total wealth of £11bn The Guardian, 3 July 2014, accessed 14 October 2014
  21. Electoral Commission, Donation search, accessed 2 April 2015
  22. The Tory 100: captains of industry, party donors (and a few tax avoiders) Guardian, 1 April 2015, accessed 3 April 2015.