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.
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
In September 1987, Johnson and Mostyn-Owen were married in West Felton, Shropshire, accompanied by a duet for violin and viola Allegra e Boris specially commissioned for the wedding from Hans Werner Henze. After a honeymoon in Egypt, they settled in West Kensington, West London, when Johnson secured work for a management consultancy company, L.E.K. Consulting, but resigned after a week. Through family connections, in late 1987 he began work as a graduate trainee at The Times. Scandal erupted when Johnson wrote an article on the archaeological discovery of King Edward II's palace for the newspaper, having invented a quote for the article which he falsely attributed to the historian Colin Lucas, his godfather. After the editor Charles Wilson learned of the matter, Johnson was dismissed.More Info
Johnson biographer Andrew Gimson believed that these articles made Johnson "one of [Euroscepticism's] most famous exponents". According to later biographer Sonia Purnell – who was Johnson's Brussels deputy – he helped make Euroscepticism "an attractive and emotionally resonant cause for the Right", whereas previously it had been associated with the British Left. Johnson's articles established him as the favourite journalist of the Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but her successor, the Europhile John Major, was annoyed by Johnson and spent much time attempting to refute what he said. Johnson's articles exacerbated tensions between the Conservative Party's Eurosceptic and Europhile factions, tensions which were widely viewed as contributing to the party's defeat in the 1997 general election. As a result, Johnson earned the mistrust of many party members. His writings were also a key influence on the emergence of the EU-opposing UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the early 1990s. The proprietor of the Telegraph at the time, Conrad Black, said Johnson "was such an effective correspondent for us in Brussels that he greatly influenced British opinion on this country’s relations with Europe."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 secured employment on the leader-writing desk of The Daily Telegraph, having met its editor, Max Hastings, during his Oxford University Union presidency. His articles appealed to the newspaper's conservative, middle-class, middle-aged "Middle England" readership, and were known for their distinctive literary style, replete with old-fashioned words and phrases and for regularly referring to the readership as "my friends". In early 1989, Johnson was appointed to the newspaper's Brussels bureau to report on the European Commission, remaining in the post until 1994. A strong critic of the integrationist Commission President Jacques Delors, he established himself as one of the city's few Eurosceptic journalists. Many of his fellow journalists there were critical of his articles, opining that they often contained lies designed to discredit the Commission. The Europhile Tory politician Chris Patten later stated that, at that time, Johnson was "one of the greatest exponents of fake journalism".More Info
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