Columbus's first landfall in what was to Europeans a 'New World' was on an island he named San Salvador (known to the Lucayans as Guanahani). Whilst there is a general consensus that this island lay within The Bahamas, precisely which island Columbus landed on is a matter of scholarly debate. Some researchers believe the site to be present-day San Salvador Island (formerly known as Watling's Island), situated in the southeastern Bahamas, whilst an alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbus's log. On the landfall island, Columbus made first contact with the Lucayans and exchanged goods with them, claiming the islands for the Crown of Castile, before proceeding to explore the larger isles of the Greater Antilles.
In 2019, Johnson was living with Carrie Symonds, the daughter of Matthew Symonds, son of John Beavan, Baron Ardwick and a co-founder of The Independent newspaper, and Josephine McAfee, a lawyer. Symonds had worked for the Conservative party since 2009 and worked on Johnson's 2012 campaign to be re-elected as Mayor. On 29 February 2020, Johnson and Symonds announced their engagement and that Symonds was expecting a baby in early summer. They became engaged in late 2019. Their son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, was born in London, early in the morning of 29 April 2020.More Info
Purnell has argued that Johnson "is nothing if not an elitist". In a 2000 article titled "Long Live Elitism", Johnson stated that "without elites and elitism man would still be in his caves". Since the Brexit campaign, he has criticised the "cynicism of the elite" about Brexit, described an "elite conspiracy to thwart Brexit", and accused the elite of being "frankly indifferent to the suffering that their policies are causing". Some media sources have therefore called him a "populist". Richard J. Evans has described Boris Johnson as "a firm believer in the 'great man' theory of history".More Info
Johnson's paternal great-grandfather was Circassian-Turkish journalist Ali Kemal who was a secular Muslim. Johnson's paternal grandfather, Wilfred Johnson – Ali Kemal's son, was an RAF pilot in Coastal Command during World War II. His father's other ancestry includes English, German and French; one of his German ancestors was said to be the illegitimate daughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg and thus a descendant of King George II of Great Britain. This would make him and Elizabeth II sixth cousins twice removed. Through Mary of Teck's connection to Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg, they would in that case also have a closer genealogical link as fifth cousins twice removed. Johnson's mother is the granddaughter of Elias Avery Lowe, a palaeographer, who was a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US, and Pennsylvania-born Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, a translator of Thomas Mann. In reference to his varied ancestry, Johnson has described himself as a "one-man melting pot" – with a combination of Abrahamic religious great-grandparents. Johnson was given the middle name "Boris" after a Russian émigré his parents had once met. An episode of Who Do You Think You Are? explored the German origins of his middle name Pfeffel. Through this family line, Boris Johnson is a descendant in the seventh generation of Anna Catharina Bischoff, whose mummified corpse was found in 1975 and identified in 2018.More Info
Purnell recognised that during the 2008 mayoral election he was "polarising opinions to the extreme", with critics viewing him as "variously evil, a clown, a racist and a bigot". Writing in The Guardian, journalist Polly Toynbee referred to him as a "jester, toff, self-absorbed sociopath and serial liar", while Labour politician Hazel Blears called him "a nasty right-wing elitist, with odious views and criminal friends". He has also been accused of sexism, after referring to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "a big girl's blouse" and former prime minister David Cameron as a "girly swot". Cameron has said of Johnson: "The thing about the greased piglet is that he manages to slip through other people's hands where mere mortals fail." In 2019, The Irish Times described him as "a deeply polarising figure, cherished by many older Conservatives but viewed by others as a serial liar and an amoral opportunist who sold Brexit to the British people on the basis of false promises."More Info
On 19 August 2019, Johnson wrote a letter to the EU and asked for the removal of the "backstop" accord, which had previously been agreed and signed by Theresa May during her premiership. The proposal was rejected by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. On 26 August 2019, Johnson said that Britain would not pay £39 billion for the withdrawal agreement were the UK to leave without a deal on 31 October. The European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said there would be no further negotiation on the trade deal unless the UK agreed to pay the entire sum.More Info
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