A photo of Boris Johnson outside UK parliament.

Boris Johnson

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Updated Jul 11, 2022 at 11:06AM EDT by Zach.

Added Jun 28, 2016 at 06:17PM EDT by Don.

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Boris Johnson is an English conservative politician who formerly served as Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016 and currently serves as a Member of Parliament for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency in the United Kingdom since being elected in May 2015.


Before entering politics, Johnson pursued a career in print journalism as the assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph from 1994 to 1999 and subsequently as the editor of The Spectator from 1999 to 2001. In 2001, Johnson made his political debut after being elected as a Member of Parliament for the Henley constituency, serving two consecutive terms. In 2008, Johnson became the Mayor of London after defeating Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral election, and in 2012, he was re-elected for a second term after defeating Livingstone once again. In March 2013, the BBC aired a documentary about Johnson’s political history (shown below).

In August 2014, Johnson announced that he would seek a return to Parliament as a member of the Conservative Party for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency. In May 2015, Johnson was elected as a Member of Parliament. In February 2016, Johnson controversially endorsed the Vote Leave campaign for the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum.

Prime Ministership

On June 30th, 2016, British Conservative politician and Brexit campaigner Michael Gove declared he would be entering the race to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following David Cameron's resignation in the wake of the Brexit vote. The same day, Johnson held a press conference where he announced he would not be running for Prime Minister (shown below).

Immediately after the announcement, BBC political producer Andrew Alexander tweeted[13] a screenshot of The Times reporter Sam Coates reacting to the announcement in the background of a BBC News broadcast (shown below). In less than 24 hours, the tweet gathered upwards of 2,300 retweets and 1,800 likes.

Andrew Alexander @andrew_alex Follow The lobby's reaction as expressed by @SamCoates Times CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP Boris Johnson rules himself out of leadership race BBC NEWS RETWEETS LIKES 2,365 1,897 7:05 AM-30 Jun 2016 t3 2.4K 1.9K

Meanwhile, other Twitter users posted various jokes about Johnson's announcement, including journalists Sathnam Sanghera[15] and Sebastian Payne[14] (shown below). In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the Twitter reactions, including Time,[16] The Daily Mail[17] and BBC News.[18]

Sebastian Payne @SebastianEPayne 9h David Cameron right now t7304 322 Sathnam Sanghera @Sathnam 9h

2019 Election

On June 7th, 2019, Johnson launched his campaign in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election after Theresa May resigned as prime minister. On July 22nd, Johnson was elected leader with 66.4% of the votes, defeating competitor Jeremy Hunt.
The following day, Redditor coincidentalfloss submitted a post about the election result to /r/worldnews,[22] where it gathered more than 24,800 points (91% upvoted) and 8,100 comments within two hours. Meanwhile, Redditor EventuallyVirtious submitted a post asking "What's your reaction to Boris Johnson becoming the new PM of the UK?" to /r/AskEurope.[23] Also on July 23rd, Johnson became a trending topic on Twitter,[25] where an Events[24] page titled "Boris Johnson to be prime minister of the UK" was created.

That day, Jeremy Corbyn tweeted[26] that Johnson won by "promising tax cuts for the richest" and "pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit" (shown below, left). Meanwhile, Donald Trump posted a tweet[27] congratulating Johnson on the victory (shown below, right).

Jeremy Corbyn @jeremycorbyn Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers' friend, and pushing for a damaging No Deal Brexit. But he hasn't won the support of our country. 7:13 AM Jul 23, 2019 Twitter Web App Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great! 7:29 AM Jul 23, 2019 Twitter for iPhone

Confidence Vote and Cabinet Resignations

In June 2022, Johnson won a vote of no confidence from his parliamentary party, but it resulted in 41.2 percent of his Conservative MPs voting against him.[28] Ultimately, the Liberal party, as well as a large portion of his Conservative majority, lacked confidence that he could properly run the country.

On July 6th, 2022, the Commons Liaison Committee took place in England amid an investigation by the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee over the appointment of Evgeny Lebedev to the House of Lords.[28] Over the course of the Committee, 17 ministers of Johnson's cabinet resigned, effectively manifesting their lack of confidence into action and threatening his ongoing position as PM.

Multiple viral moments from the televised Committee occurred on social media platforms like Twitter as the number of resigned ministers increased. For instance, on July 6th, 2022, Twitter[29] user jackmirkinson tweeted screenshots of the event that showed Shy News displaying a running tally of resignations during Johnson's hearing. The tweet received roughly 17,500 likes in less than a day (shown below).

Jack Mirkinson @jackmirkinson lol sky news has a running tally of resignations during boris johnson's hearing and it keeps ticking up while he's talking Govt Resign, 10:22 AM Jul 6, 2022 TweetDeck . 9 ... Govt Resignations: 28 MP Govt Resignations: 29 MP

The number of resignations increased after Johnson admitted he'd met Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev without officials present when foreign secretary in 2018.[30] Johnson stated he'd "certainly" met Lebedev who is an ex-KGB officer in Italy. Ultimately, the meeting and the assignment of his son, Evgeny Lebedev, to the House of Lords posed a threat to the national security of England. Johnson even added to his statement saying, “I have certainly met him without officials… I met him on a very few occasions… On the occasion you are mentioning, if that was when I was foreign secretary, then yes."[30]

Later in the day on July 6th, Johnson fired his Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.

Resignation As Conservative Party Leader

On July 7th, 2022, Johnson resigned as Conservative Party leader but voiced his intention to stay on as Prime Minister until his replacement was elected. This led to pushback from members of government, as they argued Johnson could not effectively govern with little confidence from Parliament and widespread vacancies in cabinet positions.

Online Presence

Shortly after being elected as mayor of London In May 2008, Johnson created the official Twitter[8] account for the office of the mayor, which commands more than 2.2 million followers (as of June 2016). In December 2008, Johnson created his official Facebook[9] page, which has about 526,000 likes. In September 2014, Johnson launched his official campaign website[11] at boris4uxbridge.com for his parliamentary candidacy in the 2015 General Election. In April 2015, Johnson created his personal Twitter[10] account, which has about 160,000 followers.


Johnson is known for being an entertaining character on television, using populism in his political rhetoric and has been accused of spreading falsehoods to perpetuate his agendas. On June 27th, 2016, Redditor Cassowary2 submitted a post asking about Johnson to the /r/OutOfTheLoop[4] subreddit, to which the top voted comment claimed Johnson was "positioning himself to take over as Prime Minister since the current PM was against Brexit."

Donald Trump Comparison

Johnson has been frequently compared to Donald Trump in online discussions and is often referred to as the "British Donald Trump" in the /r/The_Donald[21] subreddit. In late March 2016, Johnson was interviewed on the British talk show The Agenda, during which he revealed he was mistaken for Trump during a recent trip to New York City.[20]

"I am genuinely worried that he could become president… I was in New York and some photographers were trying to take a picture of me and a girl walked down the pavement towards me and she stopped and she said "Gee is that Trump? It was one of the worst moments."

On May 24th, 2016, the weareeuropeuk Instagram[2] feed posted a photograph of a fraternal kiss parody mural in Bristol, England, featuring Donald Trump kissing Johnson (shown below).


On June 27th, the National Review[19] published an article titled "The Ballad of Boris and The Donald," which explored the similarities and differences between the two politicians.

Dangling Boris

Dangling Boris is a photoshop meme spawned from a photograph of London Mayor Boris Johnson stuck in the mid-air on a zip line during his public appearance at an event in Victoria Park.

Boris Johnson's Tug-of-War

On October 27th, 2015, Redditor ukdev submitted a picture of Johnson playing tug of war to the /r/photoshopbattles[1] subreddit, where many users responded with photoshopped variations of the image (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gained over 5,100 votes (93% upvoted) and 440 comments. The following day, the news site Metro[3] published a collection of notable examples from the thread.

Boris Johnson's Jedi Force

On May 22nd, 2016, Redditor elbekko posted a GIF of Johnson walking past a falling cameraman titled "Boris Johnson using the force" to /r/gifs,[5] where it received more than 8,800 votes (89% upvoted) and 670 comments.

Personal Life

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was born on June 19th, 1964 in Manhattan, New York and was granted both American and British citizenship. He is the eldest child to former Conservative Memeber of the European Parliament Stanley Johnson and painter Charlotte Johnson Wahl. Johnson married Marina Wheeler in 1993, with whom he has two daughters and two sons. In 2009, he fathered a daughter out of wedlock with arts consultant Helen MacIntyre.

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 5 total

Recent Images 24 total

Top Comments


"My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive,” – Boris Johnson in 2007

Forget Area 51 boys tell Elon Musk we must go to mars right now. Dr Manhattan is hanging out with Elvis Presley.


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