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Boris Johnson Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of Boris Johnson, prime minister of the United Kingdom.


Birth date: June 19, 1964

Birth place: New York, New York

Birth name: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

Father: Stanley Johnson, environmentalist, writer, former politician

Mother: Charlotte Johnson Wahl, painter

Marriages: Carrie Symonds (2021-present); Marina Wheeler (1993-2020, divorced); Allegra Mostyn-Owen (1987-1993, divorced)

Children: with Carrie Johnson: Romy, Wilfred; with Marina Wheeler: Lara, Milo, Cassia and Theodore; with Helen Macintyre: Stephanie

Education: Balliol College, University of Oxford, B.A., 1987

Religion: Baptized as a Catholic, confirmed as an Anglican while a teenager

Other Facts

Brother Jo Johnson is also a Conservative politician.

Johnson was the fourth prime minister to study at Balliol College. The other three were H.H. Asquith, Edward Heath, and Harold Macmillan.

Johnson has written books on politics, history and British culture, such as “The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History” and “The Dream of Rome.”


1973 – The Johnson family moves to Belgium.

1987 – Becomes a trainee reporter for The Times.

1988 – Fired from The Times for making up a quote.

1989 – Appointed Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

1999-2005 – Editor for the weekly magazine The Spectator.

2001 – Johnson is elected a member of the House of Commons in Parliament, winning the seat in Henley for the Conservative Party.

2003-2004 – Vice chairman of the Conservative Party.

2004 – Serves as shadow minister for the arts. Fired over allegations of an affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.

December 2005-July 2007 – Serves as the shadow minister for higher education.

May 2008 – Johnson is elected mayor of London. He is reelected in 2012.

August 2012 – Johnson gets stuck on a zip line during a Summer Olympics event in London’s Victoria Park.

May 2015 – Reelected to Parliament, representing a seat for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

July 13, 2016 – Johnson is appointed foreign secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May, and serves for two years.

February 21, 2016 – Johnson announces he supports the Brexit campaign.

July 9, 2018 – Johnson resigns as foreign secretary due to his disagreement with May’s approach to Brexit.

September 2018 – Johnson and Marina Wheeler announce their separation and pending divorce.

July 23, 2019 – Johnson is elected leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative party, and will take over for May as prime minister, pending approval of the Queen.

August 28, 2019 – Queen Elizabeth approves Johnson’s request to suspend UK parliament from mid-September, shortening the time available to lawmakers to block a no-deal Brexit. The news is met with opposition from politicians who denounce it as potentially unconstitutional and undemocratic. In a televised interview, Johnson denies that he was seeking to prevent Parliament from limiting his Brexit plans.

September 4, 2019 – Johnson suffers a defeat after lawmakers in the House of Commons approve a bill to block a no-deal Brexit., 327 votes to 299. It instructs Johnson to request another Brexit extension if he cannot secure a deal with the European Union by the October 31 deadline. Hours after, the House of Commons dismiss demands for an election, falling short of the required 434 supermajority to pass.

September 5, 2019 – During a speech in Wakefield, in northern England, Johnson says he’d rather be “dead in the ditch” than ask Europe to delay Brexit. The same day Johnson’s brother, Jo Johnson, announces he will step down as MP because he is “torn between family loyalty and the national interest.”

September 25, 2019 – Lawmakers return to work after the UK Supreme Court rules Johnson’s decision to unilaterally suspend Parliament until mid-October — just two weeks before the UK is due to leave the European Union — was “unlawful, void and of no effect,” a huge defeat for the prime minister.

October 17, 2019 – Johnson announces that UK negotiators have struck a Brexit deal with their European counterparts, setting the stage for a vote on the proposal in Parliament.

October 19, 2019 – UK lawmakers withhold approval of Johnson’s Brexit deal, voting for an amendment to delay ratification. The amendment required Johnson to send a letter requesting an extension from the European Union and Downing Street later confirms the letter was sent.

December 12, 2019 – Johnson’s conservative party wins in a landslide election, securing 365 of the 650 seats in the House of Parliament, well ahead of Labour’s 203 seats. The election gives Johnson a comfortable majority in the House of Commons and paves the way for Brexit to take place at the end of January.

January 31, 2020 – Britain formally leaves the European Union, entering a transition period until the end of 2020 during which the United Kingdom must negotiate its future relationship with Europe.

February 29, 2020 – Johnson and Carrie Symonds, a former communications official for the Conservative Party, announce they are expecting a baby and are engaged to be married.

March 27, 2020 – Johnson announces that he has tested positive for coronavirus.

April 5, 2020 – Johnson is admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London for tests as part of a “precautionary step” due to Johnson’s lingering coronavirus symptoms, the Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement.

April 6, 2020 – Johnson is moved to an intensive care unit after his condition with coronavirus symptoms “worsened,” according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

April 12, 2020 – A Downing Street spokesman announces Johnson has been discharged from the hospital.

April 29, 2020 – Johnson and Symonds announce the birth of a baby boy.

May 2, 2020 – Johnson and Symonds announce the name of their newborn son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson. He was given the middle name Nicholas in honor of two doctors who treated Johnson while he suffered from coronavirus.

May 6, 2021 – In the British elections, Johnson’s conservative party holds onto mayoralties in key battleground areas and increases its share of local councils.

May 29, 2021 – Johnson and Symonds wed in a “small ceremony” carried out in secrecy at Westminster Cathedral in London.

December 9, 2021 – Johnson and Symonds announce the birth of a baby girl.

January 31, 2021 – A long-awaited government report into “Partygate” is released, outlining an investigation of Johnson which uncovered multiple parties, some of which Johnson personally attended, a culture of excessive drinking and a “failure of leadership” in his government while the rest of the country was living under strict Covid-19 lockdown rules.

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