The tangled personal life of Boris Johnson

Will Metcalfe
Contributor
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham.

He’s the frontrunner to become the next Conservative Party leader, and Prime Minister but Boris Johnson has led a complicated life.

Born in New York and educated at Eton and the European School of Brussels, he has served as Mayor of London and an MP and become one of the most colourful characters in British politics - and not always for the right reasons.

From being sacked for lying to former Tory leader Michael Howard over an affair, to offering to disclose details of a journalist who wrote a story exposing an associate - he has often fallen foul of society’s moral compass.

But just how tangled is his private life?

Boris Johnson leaving his home in south London, ahead of ballots which will see the contenders for the Conservative party leadership reduced to two by the end of the day.

He’s not always been faithful...

Aside from being sacked for lying over an affair when he was reported to be having an affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt. The relationship resulted in two terminated pregnancies, and Johnson’s sacking from his role

At first he called the claims “piffle” but once proven he was asked to resign by then Tory leader Michael Howard, when he was refused he was sacked.

His second marriage, to lawyer Marina Wheeler, broke down when it emerged he was having an affair with former Tory head of press Carrie Symonds, to whom he is now engaged.

What about the family?

Conservative party leadership contender Boris Johnson arrives at BBC Broadcasting House in London for a Live TV debate with Tory leadership hopefuls.

He’s been married twice, and is currently divorcing his second wife.

Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987 but they divorced six years later and had no children.

Very shortly afterwards he married high-flying barrister Marina Wheeler - who was already pregnant with their first child Lara Lettice, now 26.

The couple went on to have three more kids - Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20.

He also fathered a daughter following a short-lived fling with Helen Macintyre, the wife of a property developer, in 2009.

Stanley Johnson introduces himself to Carrie Symonds at an anti-whaling protest outside the Japanese Embassy in central London.

Stephanie - said to be the spitting image of Boris - was born later that year.

Ms Macintyre sued a newspaper which reported on Boris' love child, but lost as judges ruled the public had a right to know about the issue.

But they split last year after Ms Wheeler finally got fed up with her husband's cheating when details emerged of his affair with Ms Symonds.

And the children?

It can’t be easy having your father’s misadventures so widely reported.

Following his affair with Ms Symonds his daughter Lara was heard calling her father a "selfish b******" and adding: "Mum is finished with him. She will never take him back now."

Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson speaks to employees during a visit to Reid Steel, Christchurch, Dorset, ahead of the EU referendum in 2016.

Still, he’s settled down now?

At the weekend newspapers reported how one of Johnson’s neighbours called police after hearing a disturbance at the home he shares with Ms Symonds.

Police were called and a woman was heard screaming “Get off me”.

He later refused to answer questions about the incident and on Monday a photograph of him and Ms Symonds apparently enjoying a tender moment featured on the front of the London Evening Standard.

Has he tried drugs?

He’s admitted previously using both cannabis and cocaine.

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What about his friendships?

Boris fell out of favour with David Cameron after backing Vote Leave during the referendum, and peddled inaccurate information about the NHS.

In 2016 Michael Gove was to be his campaign manager in his Tory leadership bid, but he famously shafted Boris by entering the race himself and dropping Johnson’s campaign.

And Chris Patten, former governor of Hong Kong, said Johnson was "one of the greatest exponents of fake journalism" following spells at the Telegraph and the Times in the 1990, where he fabricated a number of stories about EU policy.

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