Following William Hague's resignation as Conservative leader, Johnson backed Kenneth Clarke, regarding Clarke as the only candidate capable of winning a general election. Iain Duncan Smith was elected. Johnson had a strained relationship with Duncan Smith, and The Spectator became critical of the latter's party leadership. Duncan Smith was removed from his position in November 2003 and replaced by Michael Howard; Howard deemed Johnson to be the most popular Conservative politician with the electorate and appointed him vice-chairman of the party, responsible for overseeing its electoral campaign. In his Shadow Cabinet reshuffle of May 2004, Howard appointed Johnson to the position of shadow arts minister. In October, Howard ordered Johnson to publicly apologise in Liverpool for publishing a Spectator article – anonymously written by Simon Heffer – which said that the crowds at the Hillsborough disaster had contributed towards the incident and that Liverpudlians had a predilection for reliance on the welfare state.
In July 1999, Conrad Black offered Johnson the editorship of The Spectator on the condition he abandoned his parliamentary aspirations; Johnson agreed. While retaining The Spectator's traditional right-wing bent, Johnson welcomed contributions from leftist writers and cartoonists. Under Johnson's editorship, the magazine's circulation grew by 10% to 62,000 and it began to turn a profit. His editorship also drew criticism; some opined that under him The Spectator avoided serious issues, while colleagues became annoyed that he was regularly absent from the office, meetings, and events. He gained a reputation as a poor political pundit as a result of incorrect political predictions made in the magazine, and was strongly criticised – including by his father-in-law Charles Wheeler – for allowing Spectator columnist Taki Theodoracopulos to publish racist and antisemitic language in the magazine.More Info
In February 1990, Johnson's wife Allegra left him; after several attempts at reconciliation, their marriage was annulled in April 1993. He then entered a relationship with a childhood friend, Marina Wheeler, who had moved to Brussels in 1990, and in May 1993 they were married at Horsham in Sussex, soon after which Marina gave birth to a daughter. Johnson and his new wife settled in Islington, North London, an area known as the home of the left-liberal intelligentsia. Under the influence of this milieu and of his wife, Johnson moved in a more liberal direction on issues like climate change, LGBT rights and race relations. Whilst in Islington, the couple had three further children, all given the surname of Johnson-Wheeler, who were sent to the local Canonbury Primary School and then to private secondary schools. Devoting much time to his children, Johnson wrote a book of verse, Perils of the Pushy Parents – A Cautionary Tale, which was published to largely poor reviews.More Info
After Stanley secured employment at the European Commission, he moved his family in April 1973 to Uccle, Brussels, where Johnson attended the European School, Brussels I and learned to speak French. Charlotte suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalised with clinical depression, after which in 1975 Johnson and his siblings were sent back to England to attend Ashdown House, a preparatory boarding school in East Sussex. There, he developed a love of rugby and excelled at Ancient Greek and Latin, but was appalled at the teachers' use of corporal punishment. Meanwhile, in December 1978 his parents' relationship broke down; they divorced in 1980, and Charlotte moved into a flat in Notting Hill, west London, where she was joined by her children for much of their time.More Info
Johnson was educated at Eton College and studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford. He was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986. In 1989, he became the Brussels correspondent and later a political columnist for The Daily Telegraph, where his articles exerted a strong Eurosceptic influence on the British right. He was the editor of The Spectator magazine from 1999 to 2005. After being elected MP for Henley in 2001, Johnson served as a junior Shadow Minister under Conservative leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron. In 2008, he was elected Mayor of London and resigned from the House of Commons; he was re-elected as Mayor in 2012. During his mayoralty, Johnson oversaw the 2012 Summer Olympics, introduced the New Routemaster buses, a cycle hire scheme and the Thames cable car, and banned alcohol consumption on much of London's public transport.More Info
Johnson gained a King's Scholarship to study at Eton College, the elite independent boarding school near Windsor in Berkshire. Arriving in the autumn term of 1977, he began using as his given name Boris rather than Alex, and developed "the eccentric English persona" for which he became famous. He abandoned his mother's Catholicism and became an Anglican, joining the Church of England. School reports complained about his idleness, complacency, and lateness, but he was popular and well known at Eton. His friends were largely from the wealthy upper-middle and upper classes, his best friends then being Darius Guppy and Charles Spencer, both of whom later accompanied him to the University of Oxford and remained friends into adulthood. Johnson excelled in English and Classics, winning prizes in both, and became secretary of the school debating society, and editor of the school newspaper, The Eton College Chronicle. In late 1981, he was elected a member of Pop, the small, self-selecting elite and glamorous group of prefects. It was later in Johnson's career a point of rivalry with David Cameron, who had failed to enter Pop. On leaving Eton, Johnson went on a gap year to Australia, where he taught English and Latin at Timbertop, an Outward Bound-inspired campus of Geelong Grammar, an elite independent boarding school.More Info
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