Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK (elected on Jul 23, 2019)
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 19 June 1964) is a British politician who is Prime Minister-designate of the United Kingdom and has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 23 July 2019. He is the first elected British Prime Minister born outside of the British Isles since Andrew Bonar Law who served from 1922 to 1923. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015, and was the MP for Henley from 2001 to 2008. He was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016, and from 2016 to 2018 he served as Foreign Secretary. Johnson identifies as a one-nation conservative and has been associated with both economically and socially liberal policies.
Born in New York City to wealthy upper-middle class British parents, Johnson was educated at the European School, Brussels I, Ashdown House, and Eton College. He read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986. He began his career in journalism at The Times, but was sacked for falsifying a quotation. He later became The Daily Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent, with his articles exerting a strong influence on the growing Eurosceptic sentiment among the British right-wing. He was eventually made assistant editor of the Telegraph in 1994. In 1999, he left the Telegraph to become editor of The Spectator, a role he would hold until 2005.
He was elected MP for Henley in 2001, largely adhering to the Conservatives’ party line during his first period in Parliament. He did, however, adopt more socially liberal stances on issues like LGBT rights. He was later selected as the Conservative candidate for the 2008 London mayoral election; Johnson defeated Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone, and subsequently resigned his seat in the House of Commons. During his first term as Mayor, he banned alcohol consumption on public transport, and introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable car. In 2012, he was re-elected Mayor, again defeating Livingstone. During his second term he oversaw the 2012 Olympics. In 2015, he returned to Parliament as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, stepping down as Mayor the following year.
In 2016, Johnson was a prominent figure in the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, becoming a leading figure in the successful Vote Leave campaign. He later declined to run in the party leadership election immediately following the referendum, despite speculation that he would. After Theresa May won the leadership, she appointed Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. He served in this position for two years, before resigning in protest at May’s approach to Brexit, criticising the Chequers Agreement. Johnson subsequently stood in the leadership election that followed May’s own resignation, and on 23 July 2019, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party, and is expected to take office as Prime Minister the following day.
Johnson is a controversial figure within British politics and journalism. Supporters have praised him as an entertaining, humorous, and popular figure, with an appeal stretching beyond traditional Conservative voters. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and the right, who have accused him of elitism, cronyism, dishonesty, laziness, and using racist and homophobic language. Johnson is the subject of several biographies and a number of fictionalised portrayals.
Johnson is the eldest of the four children of Stanley Johnson, a former Conservative Member of the European Parliament and employee of the European Commission and the World Bank, and the painter Charlotte Johnson Wahl (née Fawcett), the daughter of Sir James Fawcett, a barrister and president of the European Commission of Human Rights. His younger siblings are Rachel Johnson, a writer and journalist; Leo Johnson, a partner specialising in sustainability at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Jo Johnson, the former Minister of State for Universities and Science and Conservative MP for Orpington. Johnson’s stepmother, Jenny, the second wife of his father Stanley, is the stepdaughter of Teddy Sieff, the former chairman of Marks & Spencer. In April 2017, Rachel Johnson joined the Liberal Democrats in protest against Conservative Brexit policies. She was a member of the Conservatives between 2008 and 2011.
Johnson had dual citizenship in the United Kingdom and the United States, since he was born in New York City to English parents. In 2014, Johnson acknowledged he was disputing a demand for capital gains tax from the US tax authorities on a property that he inherited in the United Kingdom, which ultimately he paid. In February 2015, he announced his intention to give up US citizenship to demonstrate his loyalty to the UK and in 2016 he renounced his US citizenship. Johnson is a fluent speaker of French and Italian, and has a good grasp of German, Spanish, and Latin, frequently using classical references in his newspaper columns and speeches.
In 1987, he married Allegra Mostyn-Owen, daughter of the art historian William Mostyn-Owen and Italian writer Gaia Servadio. The marriage was dissolved in 1993. A couple of weeks later he married Marina Wheeler, a barrister and daughter of journalist and broadcaster Charles Wheeler and his wife, Dip Singh; five weeks later, Wheeler and Johnson’s first child was born. The Wheeler and Johnson families have known each other for decades, and Marina Wheeler was at the European School, Brussels I at the same time as her future husband. They have four children: two daughters and two sons.
In April 2006, the News of the World alleged that Johnson was having an affair with the journalist Anna Fazackerley. The pair refused to comment and shortly after Johnson began employing Fazackerley.
In 2009, Johnson fathered a daughter with Helen MacIntyre, an arts consultant. The child’s existence was the subject of legal action in 2013 with the Court of Appeal quashing an injunction seeking to ban reporting of her existence. The judge ruled that the public had a right to know about Johnson’s “reckless” behaviour. In that court case, it was additionally claimed that Johnson has had another child out of wedlock.
In September 2018, Johnson and Wheeler issued a statement confirming that after 25 years of marriage they had separated “several months ago”, and had begun divorce proceedings.
Johnson’s current girlfriend, Carrie Symonds half his age, is the daughter of Matthew Symonds, a co-founder of The Independent newspaper, and Josephine Mcaffee, a lawyer.
In June 2019, Johnson said that he painted wooden crates to resemble buses as a hobby. In 2007 he said he had smoked cannabis before he went to university. He has also admitted to using cocaine.
Theresa May, Former Prime Minister of the UK (since Jul 13, 2016)
Theresa Mary May (née Brasier; born 1 October 1956) is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Leader of the Conservative Party. She has also been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Maidenhead since 1997. May identifies as a one-nation conservative and is characterised as a liberal conservative. She is the second woman to hold the post of UK Prime Minister.
The daughter of a vicar, May grew up in Oxfordshire. From 1977 until 1983, she worked for the Bank of England, and from 1985 until 1997 at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, also serving as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons in 1992 and 1994, she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in the 1997 general election. From 1999 to 2010, May served in a number of roles in the Shadow Cabinets of William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard, and David Cameron, including Shadow Transport Secretary and Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary. She was also Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003.
After the formation of a coalition government following the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, giving up the latter role in 2012. Reappointed after the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election, she went on to become the longest-serving Home Secretary since James Chuter Ede over 60 years previously. During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, the creation of the National Crime Agency and brought in additional restrictions on immigration.
Following the resignation of David Cameron on 24 June 2016, May announced her candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party and quickly emerged as the front-runner. She won the first ballot of Conservative MPs on 5 July by a significant margin, and two days later won the votes of 199 MPs, going forward to face a vote of Conservative Party members in a contest with Andrea Leadsom. Leadsom’s withdrawal from the election on 11 July led to May’s appointment as leader the same day. She was appointed Prime Minister two days later, the second woman to hold both offices. On becoming Prime Minister, May became the first woman to have held two of the Great Offices of State.
May has been married to Philip May, an investment banker currently employed by Capital International, since 6 September 1980; the couple have no children. It is widely believed that former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto introduced the two during their time at Oxford. May has expressed regret that, for health reasons, she has not been able to have children with her husband. The Mays are passionate hikers, and they regularly spend their holidays hiking in the Swiss Alps. May is also a passionate cricket fan, claiming Geoffrey Boycott was one of her sporting heroes.
May is a member of the Church of England and regularly worships at church on Sunday.The daughter of an Anglican priest, the Reverend Hubert Brasier, May has said that her Christian faith “is part of me. It is part of who I am and therefore how I approach things”.
May is known for a love of fashion and in particular distinctive shoes, wearing leopard-print shoes at her ‘Nasty Party’ speech in 2002, as well as her final Cabinet meeting as Home Secretary in 2016. On Desert Island Discs in 2014 she chose a subscription to Vogue as her luxury item. However she has been critical of the media focusing on her fashion instead of her achievements as a politician.
May was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus of type 1 in November 2012. She is treated with daily insulin injections.
Since coming into prominence as a front-bench politician, May’s public image has divided media opinion, especially from some in the traditionalist right-wing press. Commenting on May’s debut as Home Secretary, Anne Perkins of The Guardian observed that “she’ll be nobody’s stooge”, while Cristina Odone of The Daily Telegraph predicted her to be “the rising star” of the Coalition Government. Allegra Stratton, then with The Guardian, praised May as showing managerial acumen.
Her parliamentary expenses have been “modest” in recent years (about £15,000 from 2005 to 2009).
David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the UK (since May 11, 2010)
Born: 9 October 1966
David was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005 and sworn in as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on May 11, 2010. Since then he has set out plans to rebuild UK’s battered economy, revive beleaguered NHS and repair British broken society.
Mr Cameron was educated at Eton College before studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, gaining a first class honours degree.
David’s family has always been the starting point of everything he has wanted to achieve in politics. He is proud of the values that were instilled in him when he was young. Today, as a father, he knows how important quality family time is, and has made shared parental leave a priority. David, Samantha and their young children live in London and West Oxfordshire, where he has been MP for Witney since 2001. Very sadly their much loved eldest child, Ivan, six, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, died on 25 February 2009.
Before he became an MP, David worked in business and government. He worked as a Special Adviser in government, first to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and then to the Home Secretary.
Afterwards he spent seven years at Carlton Communications, one of the UK’s leading media companies, and served on the management Board.
David’s experience in business made him appreciate first hand the damaging effect which red tape and high taxes can have on job creation.
At a time when the country is in recession, and people are worried about losing their jobs, he believes there is urgent need for change.
He published plans for a National Loan Guarantee Scheme to get money flowing to business again. He has called for tax breaks for pensioners, and the abolition of income tax on savings for basic rate taxpayers, in the 2009 Budget. At a time when families are suffering, he has announced plans for a freeze in council tax for two years by cutting wasteful Government spending. He believes we need to cut employment costs for small businesses by cutting National Insurance and through a tax break for new jobs, and that government needs to live within its means to help tackle the doubling of the national debt.
David’s vision is of a country where people have more opportunity and power over their lives; a country where families are stronger and society is more responsible; a Britain which is safer and greener.
MP for Witney, June 2001 –
Range of Shadow Ministerial Posts 2003 – 2005, including Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Leader of the Opposition December 2005 – 2010
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom May 11, 2010 –
PROUDEST POLITICAL ACHIEVEMENT:
Getting the Conservative Party listened to again
INTEREST OUTSIDE OF POLITICS:
Growing vegetables and cooking
Married to Samantha
Children: Nancy and Elwen. Sadly their eldest child, Ivan, died on 25 February 2009.