Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British politician, serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since July 2019. He has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015 and was previously MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008. He also served as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and Foreign Secretary from 2016 to 2018. Johnson identifies as a one-nation conservative and has been associated with both economically and socially liberal policies.
Born in New York City to upper-middle-class British parents, Johnson was educated at the European School, Brussels I, Ashdown House, and Eton College. He read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986. He began his career in journalism at The Times but was dismissed for falsifying a quotation. He later became The Daily Telegraph‘s Brussels correspondent, with his articles exerting a strong influence on growing Eurosceptic sentiment among the British right-wing. He was an assistant editor of the Telegraph from 1994 to 1999 and edited The Spectator from 1999 to 2005. He was elected MP for Henley in 2001 and served in the Shadow Cabinet under Conservative leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron. He largely adhered to the Conservatives’ party line but adopted a more socially liberal stance on issues such as LGBT rights in parliamentary votes. Selected as the Conservative candidate for the 2008 London mayoral election, Johnson defeated Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone and resigned from the British House of Commons. During his first term as Mayor of London, he banned alcohol consumption on much of the capital’s public transport and introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable car. In 2012, he was re-elected, again defeating Livingstone. During his second term, he oversaw the 2012 Olympics. In 2015, he was elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, stepping down as Mayor the following year. In 2016, Johnson became a prominent figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign for Brexit as part of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. He was subsequently appointed Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Theresa May but resigned in criticism of May’s approach to Brexit and the Chequers Agreement two years later. In 2019, he was elected Conservative Leader and appointed Prime Minister.
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