Boris Johnson

Conservative Party

Boris Johnson

…those critics are wrong. The doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters – they are going to get it wrong again. The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts because we are going to restore trust in our democracy.

Conservative Party

July 2019 - September 2022

24 Jul 2019 - 6 Sep 2022

Key Facts

Tenure dates

24 Jul 2019 - 6 Sep 2022

Length of tenure

3 years, 44 days


Conservative Party


Allegra Mostyn-Owen

Marina Wheeler


19 Jun 1964

Birth place

New York City, US

About Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is one of the most charismatic and controversial politicians of the modern era. To supporters, he was an authentic voice who bravely stood up for Leave in the 2016 referendum, to opponents he was an opportunistic and unprincipled politician. His government dealt with Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He resigned in 2022 due to a cabinet rebellion.

Boris Johnson was born in 1964. He attended Eton College and studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford University. He pursued a career in journalism, becoming editor of The Spectator.

He was elected to the House of Commons as MP for Henley in 2001, soon joining the Shadow Cabinet. During this time, he established himself as a well-known politician, appearing frequently on television. During these years, he earned the nicknames ‘Boris’ and ‘BoJo’, for which he tended to be known. In 2008, he was elected Mayor of London, and he was re-elected in 2012.

In February 2016, Johnson announced that he was supporting Leave in the June referendum. His presence energised the Vote Leave campaign and he, alongside fellow Conservative Michael Gove, became its most prominent spokesperson. When Britain voted Leave, Johnson was widely expected to run to be Conservative Party leader and, by default, Prime Minister. He began his campaign but dramatically withdrew when Gove publicly turned against him. Johnson became Foreign Secretary in May’s government but resigned in July 2018 over Brexit policy.

In 2019, with the fall of Theresa May, Johnson once again campaigned to be Conservative Party leader. This time, there would be no betrayals and Johnson was elected with 66% of the Conservative Party’s vote, becoming Prime Minister in July 2019.

Johnson’s premiership started with Britain in political crisis over Brexit. Over September -October 2019, there were feverish debates over the prospect of a No Deal Brexit. Ultimately, a No Deal exit was prevented, and Johnson called a general election for December 2019. He won a historic victory for the Conservatives and Britain duly exited the EU in January 2020.

In 2020, his government had to face the exceptional challenge of Covid-19 and in 2022 Johnson had to articulate Britian’s response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. After several political missteps, and a scandal related to a failure to properly observe lockdown rules in Number 10, Johnson resigned after a cabinet rebellion in July 2022.

Key Events


Boris Johnson’s premiership can be divided into three phases: Brexit, Covid, and Fall.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends in European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting.
Brussels, Belgium. 19th March 2018. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson attends in European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting. Photo by Ale_Mi/

The first six months of Johnson’s premiership were chiefly concerned with Brexit. Over these months, he negotiated a renewed deal for Britain to leave the EU and attempted to break the parliamentary deadlock. Controversially, he attempted to prorogue Parliament in September 2019, but the attempt was annulled by the Supreme Court. Over the weeks that followed, Parliament debated, and eventually voted against a No Deal Brexit. Johnson expelled Conservative rebels from the party.

With Brexit postponed, Johnson called a general election that took place in December 2019. He promised to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and made ambitious pledges to ‘level up’ the deprived areas of England. The election was a landslide victory for the Conservatives. Britain duly left the EU on 31 January 2020.

The next year was largely concerned with the Covid-19 pandemic. Johnson’s government took unprecedented steps to lockdown the country to prevent the spread of the disease and delivered enormous packages of economic relief. Johnson himself was taken seriously ill with Covid and was briefly hospitalised in April 2020. A vaccination drive commenced from December 2020. However, there was much criticism of Johnson’s pandemic leadership.

In late 2021, western intelligence agencies reported that Russia planned to invade and destroy Ukraine. Johnson supported Ukraine with military aid and warned Russia against an invasion. The Russian government loudly denied any such plan. Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Johnson vocally supported Ukraine, sent military aid, and encouraged the western powers to provide military support and impose sanctions on Russia. As a consequence, Johnson was very popular in Ukraine, and visited Kyiv on 9 April, the first western leader to do so after the invasion.

Towards the end of 2021, a chain of events began that led to the end of Johnson’s premiership in October. He supported a parliamentary motion to block the suspension of an MP, but reversed his decision in the face of public outrage. In December, there were media revelations about social gatherings in Downing Street during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Over the months that followed, further reports came. In July 2022, after the resignation of the Chief Whip, Christopher Pincher, it was revealed that Johnson had been aware of complaints about Pincher but had not acted.

On 5 July, just after 6pm, both the Health Secretary and the Chancellor resigned. Over the course of the day and a half that followed, there was a cascade of resignations. Ultimately, 62 government ministers resigned. On 7 July 2022, Johnson resigned.

‘I am now being forced out of parliament by a tiny handful of people, with no evidence to back up their assertions, and without the approval even of Conservative party members let alone the wider electorate. I believe that a dangerous and unsettling precedent is being set.’

Ultimately, a House of Commons committee report censured Boris Johnson in the summer of the following year. The report was endorsed by the House of Commons by 354-7.

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