Key moments in Boris Johnson’s colourful life as prime minister to resign

·4 min read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson is resigning as Tory leader – here are some of the key moments in his eventful life.

– 1964

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is born on June 19 in New York City to parents Stanley Johnson and Charlotte Fawcett.

– 1969

After living in both the UK and America for several years, the family settle at West Nethercote Farm, near Winsford, Somerset.

– 1977

Mr Johnson receives a scholarship to attend elite boarding school Eton College, where he reportedly develops his trademark “eccentric persona”.

A general view of Eton College (Matthew Fearn/PA) (PA Archive)
A general view of Eton College (Matthew Fearn/PA) (PA Archive)

– 1983

He enrols at the University of Oxford to study a four-year course in classics and ancient literature, where he joins the infamous Bullingdon Club and begins to use the name Boris.

While there, he meets other future senior Conservative Party figures, such as David Cameron, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt, and graduates with a 2:1.

– 1987

Aged 23, Mr Johnson marries university sweetheart Allegra Mostyn-Owen, enjoying a honeymoon in Egypt, before moving to west Kensington in London.

Through family connections, he begins work as a trainee for The Times newspaper but is dismissed after fabricating a quote for an article on the archaeological discovery of King Edward II’s palace.

– 1989

After securing a job at The Daily Telegraph through ex-university acquaintances, Mr Johnson is appointed to the newspaper’s Brussels bureau to report on the European Commission.

– 1993

Mr Johnson and Ms Mostyn-Owen divorce and he begins a relationship with Marina Wheeler, who he marries later that year, the couple move back to Islington, north London, and have four children together.

– 2001

Mr Johnson stands as the Conservative candidate for Henley and wins the seat with a majority of 8,500 votes.

Conservative candidate for Henley, journalist Boris Johnson, and his wife Marina have a drink as they wait during the count at Watlington for the Henley seat (Tim Ockenden/PA) (PA Archive)
Conservative candidate for Henley, journalist Boris Johnson, and his wife Marina have a drink as they wait during the count at Watlington for the Henley seat (Tim Ockenden/PA) (PA Archive)

He continues to work as the editor of The Spectator magazine despite promising not to run for Parliament while doing so.

– 2004

Mr Johnson is sacked as shadow arts minister by Michael Howard after it was revealed he was having an affair with columnist Petronella Wyatt despite describing it previously as an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.

– 2006

After being re-elected as MP for Henley, Mr Johnson is appointed shadow higher education minister by David Cameron, then accused of having another affair with journalist Anna Fazackerley.

He is dismissed as editor of The Spectator by its new chief executive, Andrew Neil.

– 2008

Mr Johnson is elected mayor of London, beating Labour candidate Ken Livingstone by 55% to 47%.

During his time in office, he continues such projects as Crossrail and the 2012 London Olympics and introduces new initiatives such as “Boris bikes” and a ban on drinking alcohol on public transport.

Then London mayor Boris Johnson in front of Tower Bridge in London where the Olympic rings were hung (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)
Then London mayor Boris Johnson in front of Tower Bridge in London where the Olympic rings were hung (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

He is re-elected for a second mayoral term in 2012.

– 2015

Mr Johnson is elected as MP for the safe Conservative seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the general election.

– 2016

He becomes a strong advocate of the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum and, following Mr Cameron’s resignation, is tipped as a frontrunner to become Conservative leader – though he ultimately loses out to Theresa May.

Mr Johnson is appointed as foreign secretary in Mrs May’s Cabinet in July and stays in the post until 2018, when he resigns and returns to the Conservative backbenches.

– 2019

Following Mrs May’s resignation, Mr Johnson is elected leader of the Conservative Party and becomes Prime Minister on July 24.

The Queen welcoming newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen welcoming newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

In December, he wins a snap general election by a considerable margin of 80 seats – the biggest Tory majority since 1987.

– 2020

On February 29 Mr Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce they had become engaged in late 2019, and that she was expecting a baby.

Wilfred Johnson was born on April 29.

The coronavirus crisis worsens within the first few months following the election victory.

Mr Johnson declares a nationwide lockdown on March 23, and is admitted to hospital with the disease on April 5.

He was admitted to intensive care, and left hospital on April 12.

Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
Dominic Cummings leaves 10 Downing Street, London, with a box (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

The following month, it was revealed his de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings made a trip with his family to Durham during the March 2020 lockdown while experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. Neither Mr Johnson or Mr Cummings resigned, despite widespread calls for them to.

In November, Mr Cummings and director of communications Lee Cain resigned amid reports of infighting.

– 2021

On May 29 Mr Johnson married Carrie Symonds at Westminster Cathedral, the first Prime Minister to wed in office since 1822.

On July 31 they announced they were expecting their second child together after Mrs Johnson suffered a miscarriage earlier that year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street (Rebecca Fulton/PA) (PA Media)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street (Rebecca Fulton/PA) (PA Media)

Their daughter Romy was born on December 9.

– 2022

After a series of “partygate” revelations during lockdown and several ethics concerns, scores of MPs resigned from the Government, finally forcing Mr Johnson to agree to stand down.