While David Cameron was away in Africa, it was left to the Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson to defend his party in the wake of the disastrous phone hacking scandal.
Defend he did, but not without a nice bit of schadenfreude.
Asked about David Cameron’s judgment when appointing disgraced News of the World editor Andy Coulson during a press conference after two of the UK’s most senior police officers resigned, Johnson was quick to distance himself from that scandal:
“I’m not here to discuss government appointments, I’m here to talk about events in the Metropolitan police service. Those questions you must direct to government.”
Many, such as Benedict Brogan, deputy editor of The Telegraph, have been noticing Johnson’s increasingly brazen attitude towards the British government and his own party.
Now with the serious possibility of David Cameron being forced from leadership with the depth of the phone hacking scandal, is Johnson ready to make his move?
Boris was born Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the son of Stanley Johnson, a Conservative British politician and author, and his first wife the painter Charlotte Fawcett.
However his upbringing was unusually cosmopolitan, even by upper class standards. He was born in 1964 in New York (he's still a US citizen), was first schooled in Brussels, and is of Turkish descent. He later studied at Eton on a scholarship.
He studied Classics at the UK's most prestigious university, where he became head of the Oxford Union, a position also held by people such as Andrew Sullivan, Benazir Bhutto and Edward Heath.
The club revolves around donning dinner jackets, going to expensive restaurants, getting insanely drunk, and trashing them (yes, it still exists).
Other members included David Cameron and George Osborne. A picture of the club in full 'uniform' became notorious for signifying the British right's privilege.
They were both just 23.
At the wedding Johnson forgot his suit and lost his wedding ring shortly after.
They'd divorce after a few years and he would marry fellow journalist and lawyer Marina Wheeler.
Johnson's appearances on the political satire quiz show Have I Got News For You made him a household name (though perhaps not for the right reasons).
Johnson came under fire for a Spectator article that criticised the city of Liverpool's 'victim status' after a man from the city was murdered in Iraq.
He was sacked from the party after allegations of an affair with a journalist. He denied the allegations, calling them an 'inverted pyramid of piffle'.
A recording was made public in 2003 that appeared to show Johnson agreeing to give a school friend the address and phone number of a News of the World reporter.
The school friend wished to have the reporter attacked.
Source: The Daily Mail
Even back in 2008, the idea of Johnson as British Prime Minister was making the rounds. In his biography of Johnson, Andrew Gimson wrote:
Boris is now in a position to make his mayoralty an extended demonstration of what he can or cannot do. If he succeeds, he can entrench himself as the darling of the Tory party, a man who could yet become prime minister by acclamation. It is possible it will all end in disaster: many a term of office that opens in high hopes closes in ignominy.
Source: The Telegraph
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