The Education of Boris Johnson, Britain's Own Comedy Politician
Mikhail Yakovlev
CampusTales Editor
University College London (UCL)
May 16th, 2017


In the space of one year, Boris Johnson made a surprising transition from Mayor of London to the British Foreign Secretary [Foreign Affairs minister]. He even had his eye set on the office of prime-minister, before ‘being stabbed in the back by Michael Gove’. Many have wondered what is the key to this unlikely figure’s success.

While Boris looks somewhat like a misfit, he comes from a well-established political family. The 52-year old even counts King George II as an ancestor. One of his brothers is also an MP, whilst his father who worked for the World Bank and the European Commission as an environmental expert. Born in New York himself, Johnson's attended various prestigious schools in Europe, the European School of Brussels and Eton College among them.


Provost's Garden, Eton College



It was at Eton that Johnson developed the eccentric foppish personality he is renowned for today. Although his teachers complained about complacency, idleness and lateness, Johnson actually had a scholarship to study at Eton. Having said that, he did well enough in English and Latin to be admitted to Oxford University to study classics at Balliol College.


Balliol College, Oxford University



Even though he failed to secure a first-class degree, Johnson was fully involved with student life. He ran for Union President two years in a row, winning the election on his second attempt. In a way that foreshadowed his future career, Johnson was criticised for a lack of seriousness in this role. This was also reflected by his association with the exclusive all-male Bullingdon Club, whose members are infamous for vandalising restaurants and pubs they visit.

In the end, Johnson’s university career might not have mattered after all. Soon after moving to London with his Oxford sweetheart-turned-wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen, Boris secured a position at The Times through family connections. Unluckily, scandal erupted when he made up a quote by historian Colin Lucas – his own godfather – in one of his articles. He was subsequently sacked. This didn’t hold Boris back as the editor of the Daily Telegraph took him on, as they knew each other through Johnson’s presidency of the Oxford Union.
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The Education of Boris Johnson, Britain's Own Comedy Politician
Mikhail Yakovlev
CampusTales Editor
University College London (UCL)
May 12th, 2017
In the space of one year, Boris Johnson made a surprising transition from Mayor of London to the British Foreign Secretary [Foreign Affairs minister]. He even had his eye set on the office of prime-minister, before ‘being stabbed in the back by Michael Gove’. Many have wondered what is the key to this unlikely figure’s success.

While Boris looks somewhat like a misfit, he comes from a well-established political family. The 52-year old even counts King George II as an ancestor. One of his brothers is also an MP, whilst his father who worked for the World Bank and the European Commission as an environmental expert. Born in New York himself, Johnson's attended various prestigious schools in Europe, the European School of Brussels and Eton College among them.


Provost's Garden, Eton College

It was at Eton that Johnson developed the eccentric foppish personality he is renowned for today. Although his teachers complained about complacency, idleness and lateness, Johnson actually had a scholarship to study at Eton. Having said that, he did well enough in English and Latin to be admitted to Oxford University to study classics at Balliol College.


Balliol College, Oxford University

Even though he failed to secure a first-class degree, Johnson was fully involved with student life. He ran for Union President two years in a row, winning the election on his second attempt. In a way that foreshadowed his future career, Johnson was criticised for a lack of seriousness in this role. This was also reflected by his association with the exclusive all-male Bullingdon Club, whose members are infamous for vandalising restaurants and pubs they visit.

In the end, Johnson’s university career might not have mattered after all. Soon after moving to London with his Oxford sweetheart-turned-wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen, Boris secured a position at The Times through family connections. Unluckily, scandal erupted when he made up a quote by historian Colin Lucas – his own godfather – in one of his articles. He was subsequently sacked. This didn’t hold Boris back as the editor of the Daily Telegraph took him on, as they knew each other through Johnson’s presidency of the Oxford Union.
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