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 1969, the family returned to England and settled into West Nethercote Farm, near Winsford in Somerset, Stanley's remote family home on Exmoor in the West Country. There, Johnson gained his first experiences of fox hunting. Stanley was regularly absent from Nethercote, leaving Johnson to be raised largely by his mother, assisted by au pairs. As a child, Johnson was quiet and studious and suffered from deafness, resulting in several operations to insert grommets into his ears. He and his siblings were encouraged to engage in highbrow activities from a young age, with high achievement being greatly valued; Johnson's earliest recorded ambition was to be "world king". Having few or no friends other than their siblings, the children became very close.More Info
In 2015, Johnson was elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip; he stepped down as mayor the following year, during which he became a prominent figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign for Brexit in the 2016 EU membership referendum. He then served as Foreign Secretary during the earlier stages of Theresa May's premiership; he resigned from the post two years later, in criticism of May's approach to Brexit and the Chequers Agreement. After May resigned in 2019, he was elected Conservative leader and appointed prime minister. His September 2019 prorogation of Parliament was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. In the 2019 general election, Johnson led the Conservative Party to its biggest parliamentary victory since 1987, winning 43.6% of the vote – the largest share of any party since 1979. The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union under the terms of a revised Brexit withdrawal agreement, entering into a transition period.More Info
Although labelling Johnson "ineffably duplicitous" for breaking his promise not to become an MP, Black decided not to dismiss him because he "helped promote the magazine and raise its circulation". Johnson remained editor of The Spectator, also writing columns for The Daily Telegraph and GQ, and making television appearances. His 2001 book, Friends, Voters, Countrymen: Jottings on the Stump, recounted that year's election campaign, while 2003's Lend Me Your Ears collected together previously published columns and articles. In 2004, his first novel was published: Seventy-Two Virgins: A Comedy of Errors revolved around the life of a Conservative MP and contained various autobiographical elements. Responding to critics who argued that he was juggling too many jobs, he cited Winston Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli as exemplars who combined their political and literary careers. To manage the stress, he took up jogging and cycling, and became so well known for the latter that Gimson suggested that he was "perhaps the most famous cyclist in Britain".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
Scandal erupted in June 1995 when a recording of a 1990 telephone conversation between Johnson and his friend Darius Guppy was made public. In the conversation, Guppy said that his criminal activities involving insurance fraud were being investigated by News of the World journalist Stuart Collier, and he asked Johnson to provide him with Collier's private address, seeking to have the latter beaten to the extent of "a couple of black eyes and a cracked rib or something like that". Johnson agreed to supply the information, although he expressed concern that he would be associated with the attack. When the phone conversation was published in 1995, Johnson stated that ultimately he had not obliged Guppy's request. Hastings reprimanded Johnson but did not dismiss him.More Info
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