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Boris Johnson Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of Boris Johnson, former prime minister of the United Kingdom.


Birth date: June 19, 1964

Birth place: New York, New York

Birth name: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

Father: Stanley Johnson, environmentalist, writer, former politician

Mother: Charlotte Johnson Wahl, painter

Marriages: Carrie Symonds (2021-present); Marina Wheeler (1993-2020, divorced); Allegra Mostyn-Owen (1987-1993, divorced)

Children: with Carrie Johnson: Wilfred, Romy and Frank; with Marina Wheeler: Lara, Milo, Cassia and Theodore; with Helen Macintyre: Stephanie

Education: Balliol College, University of Oxford, B.A., 1987

Religion: Baptized as a Catholic, confirmed as an Anglican while a teenager

Other Facts

Brother Jo Johnson is also a Conservative politician.

Johnson was the fourth prime minister to study at Balliol College. The other three were H.H. Asquith, Edward Heath, and Harold Macmillan.

Johnson has written books on politics, history and British culture, such as “The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History” and “The Dream of Rome.”


1973 – The Johnson family moves to Belgium.

1987 – Becomes a trainee reporter for The Times.

1988 – Fired from The Times for making up a quote.

1989 – Appointed Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

1999-2005 – Editor for the weekly magazine The Spectator.

2001 – Johnson is elected a member of the House of Commons in Parliament, winning the seat in Henley for the Conservative Party.

2003-2004 – Vice chairman of the Conservative Party.

2004 – Serves as shadow minister for the arts. Fired over allegations of an affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.

December 2005-July 2007 – Serves as the shadow minister for higher education.

May 2008 – Johnson is elected mayor of London. He is reelected in 2012.

August 2012 – Johnson gets stuck on a zip line during a Summer Olympics event in London’s Victoria Park.

May 2015 – Reelected to Parliament, representing a seat for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

July 13, 2016 – Johnson is appointed foreign secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May, and serves for two years.

February 21, 2016 – Johnson announces he supports the Brexit campaign.

July 9, 2018 – Johnson resigns as foreign secretary due to his disagreement with May’s approach to Brexit.

September 2018 – Johnson and Marina Wheeler announce their separation and pending divorce.

July 23, 2019 – Johnson is elected leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative party, and will take over for May as prime minister, pending approval of the Queen.

August 28, 2019 – Queen Elizabeth approves Johnson’s request to suspend UK parliament from mid-September, shortening the time available to lawmakers to block a no-deal Brexit. The news is met with opposition from politicians who denounce it as potentially unconstitutional and undemocratic. In a televised interview, Johnson denies that he was seeking to prevent Parliament from limiting his Brexit plans.

September 4, 2019 – Johnson suffers a defeat after lawmakers in the House of Commons approve a bill to block a no-deal Brexit., 327 votes to 299. It instructs Johnson to request another Brexit extension if he cannot secure a deal with the European Union by the October 31 deadline. Hours after, the House of Commons dismiss demands for an election, falling short of the required 434 supermajority to pass.

September 5, 2019 – During a speech in Wakefield, in northern England, Johnson says he’d rather be “dead in the ditch” than ask Europe to delay Brexit. The same day Johnson’s brother, Jo Johnson, announces he will step down as MP because he is “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.”

September 25, 2019 – Lawmakers return to work after the UK Supreme Court rules Johnson’s decision to unilaterally suspend Parliament until mid-October – just two weeks before the UK is due to leave the European Union – was “unlawful, void and of no effect,” a huge defeat for the prime minister.

October 17, 2019 – Johnson announces that UK negotiators have struck a Brexit deal with their European counterparts, setting the stage for a vote on the proposal in Parliament.

October 19, 2019 – UK lawmakers withhold approval of Johnson’s Brexit deal, voting for an amendment to delay ratification. The amendment required Johnson to send a letter requesting an extension from the European Union and Downing Street later confirms the letter was sent.

December 12, 2019 – Johnson’s conservative party wins in a landslide election, securing 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Parliament, well ahead of Labour’s 203 seats. The election gives Johnson a comfortable majority in the House of Commons and paves the way for Brexit to take place at the end of January.

January 31, 2020 – Britain formally leaves the European Union, entering a transition period until the end of 2020 during which the United Kingdom must negotiate its future relationship with Europe.

February 29, 2020 – Johnson and Carrie Symonds, a former communications official for the Conservative Party, announce they are expecting a baby and are engaged to be married.

March 27, 2020 – Johnson announces that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

April 5, 2020 – Johnson is admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London for tests as part of a “precautionary step” due to Johnson’s lingering coronavirus symptoms, the Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement. On April 6, Johnson is moved to an intensive care unit after his condition with coronavirus symptoms “worsened,” according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

April 12, 2020 – A Downing Street spokesman announces Johnson has been discharged from the hospital.

April 29, 2020 – Johnson and Symonds announce the birth of a baby boy. On May 2, they announce the name of their newborn son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson. He was given the middle name Nicholas in honor of two doctors who treated Johnson while he suffered from coronavirus.

May 6, 2021 – In the British elections, Johnson’s conservative party holds onto mayoralties in key battleground areas and increases its share of local councils.

May 29, 2021 – Johnson and Symonds wed in a “small ceremony” carried out in secrecy at Westminster Cathedral in London.

December 9, 2021 – Johnson and Symonds announce the birth of a baby girl.

January 31, 2021 – A long-awaited government report into “Partygate” is released, outlining an investigation of Johnson which uncovered multiple parties, some of which Johnson personally attended, a culture of excessive drinking and a “failure of leadership” in his government while the rest of the country was living under strict Covid-19 lockdown rules.

June 6, 2022 – Johnson survives a vote of confidence held by his own party. Conservative MPs vote in a secret ballot by 211 to 148 to allow him to remain party leader – and, by extension, prime minister.

July 7, 2022 – Johnson announces that he is stepping down as prime minister after nearly 60 members of his government resign. Johnson says he will continue as caretaker leader while the Conservative Party launches the process of choosing a successor.

September 6, 2022 – Johnson tenders his resignation to the Queen. Liz Truss becomes the new Prime Minister.

March 3, 2023 – A report from the House of Commons Committee of Privileges says that people advising Johnson were aware that gatherings taking place in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns were breaching the UK government’s own Covid guidelines, and points to a culture of drinking inside Downing Street at the time. The report says there was evidence indicating that Johnson may have misled Parliament about what he knew of the events in Downing Street.

March 21, 2023 – In a letter, Johnson tells a Parliamentary committee that he did not intentionally mislead UK lawmakers about gatherings taking place in Downing Street during Covid lockdown.

May 23, 2023 – The British government tells CNN Johnson has been referred to the UK police for new possible violations of Covid lockdown rules.

June 9, 2023 – Johnson resigns as a member of Parliament after accusing the Privileges Committee of attempting to “drive me out.” Johnson said he was “bewildered and appalled” after receiving a letter from the committee, which is investigating whether he misled lawmakers over parties in Downing Street that broke lockdown rules during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Privileges Committee releases its report to the public on June 15, finding that Johnson deliberately misled lawmakers over breaches of his own Covid-19 lockdown rules.

June 16, 2023 – Joins the Daily Mail as a weekly columnist. On June 27, an advisory committee calls the move an “unambiguous” breach of ethics rules.

July 11, 2023 – Carrie Johnson announces the birth of her third child with Johnson.

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