Boris Johnson, a charismatic and controversial figure in British politics, embarked on a tumultuous journey to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His ascent to power is marked by political twists, challenges, and moments of triumph. In this article, we will trace Boris Johnson’s road to power, from his early political career to his election as Prime Minister.
Early Life and Background
Boris Johnson was born on June 19, 1964, in New York City to British parents. His upbringing was privileged, and he attended Eton College, followed by Oxford University, where he studied Classics. After university, he worked briefly as a journalist before entering politics.
- Member of Parliament (MP): Johnson’s political career began in 2001 when he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Henley. His witty and humorous writing style as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph had already made him a recognizable figure in British media.
- Mayor of London: In 2008, Boris Johnson secured a major political victory by becoming the Mayor of London. Running as a Conservative candidate, he defeated the incumbent Ken Livingstone and served two terms in office from 2008 to 2016. During his tenure, Johnson focused on initiatives like the Boris Bikes (a bicycle-sharing program) and championed London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
- Brexit and the EU Referendum: One of the defining moments of Boris Johnson’s political career was his involvement in the campaign to leave the European Union (EU) during the 2016 EU referendum. Johnson’s passionate support for Brexit, alongside his charismatic speaking style, made him one of the most prominent faces of the “Leave” campaign. The referendum, which resulted in a narrow victory for “Leave,” reshaped the political landscape of the UK.
- Conservative Leadership: Following David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister after the Brexit vote, Boris Johnson announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2016. However, he withdrew from the race after a key supporter, Michael Gove, declared his own candidacy. Theresa May ultimately won the leadership contest.
- Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: Boris Johnson’s path to becoming Prime Minister took another turn in 2019 when Theresa May resigned as leader of the Conservative Party amid Brexit-related challenges. Johnson entered the leadership race and won the party’s support, becoming Prime Minister on July 24, 2019.
Challenges and Controversies
Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister has been marked by significant challenges, including the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, and internal party disputes. His government has faced criticism over its response to various crises, including questions about transparency, integrity, and decision-making.
Boris Johnson’s road to power as Prime Minister has been a remarkable journey characterized by charisma, controversy, and political maneuvering. His path from a journalist and Member of Parliament to becoming the leader of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom reflects the unpredictable nature of British politics. As Boris Johnson continues to lead the country, his leadership and policies will be under constant scrutiny, shaping the course of the UK’s future in a rapidly changing world.