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HAIR TO THE THRONE? By Maarten Hoffmann


nigma, conundrum, buffoon or the smartest guy in Whitehall? I am not sure that anyone really knows the answer to this, for a man prone to gigantic gaffs, ridiculous photo cock ups and an overly colourful private life, he remains the most popular politician in the country. And he’s not even an MP – or is it because he’s not an MP – yet? Boris began his colourful journalistic career at The Times and the Telegraph before ending up at the Spectator in 2005, where he left to join the Conservatives in the role of shadow Minister for Culture and then Higher Education under both Michael Howard and his old Billingdon mucker, David Cameron. Having been elected as MP for Henley in 2001, he rapidly became one

of the most conspicuous and media-friendly members of the House. And such wonderful media fodder that the press couldn’t resist him. But then it is in the bloodline: father Stanley was a Conservative member of the European Parliament; mother Charlotte was the daughter of Sir James Fawcett, President of the Commission on Human Rights; brother Jo is a Government Whip and MP for Orpington; sister Rachel is a journalist and author, and his stepfather was the American academic Nichols Whal. Therefore, the chance of Boris taking a normal job and staying out of the limelight was nigh on impossible. In reference to his cosmopolitan ancestry, Johnson has described himself as a “one-man

melting pot”—with a combination of Muslim, Jew, and Christian comprising his great-grand parentage. His father’s maternal grandmother, Marie Louise de Pfeffel, was a granddaughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg, through his ‘wrong side of the sheets’ relationship with a German actress. Through Prince Paul, Johnson is a descendant of King George II and, through George’s great-great-great grandfather James I, a descendant of all of the previous British royal houses. Johnson is an 8th cousin of David Cameron. His public popularity comes from his tendency to do down those in power, for example calling his political opponents ‘great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies’ and

Platinum Business Magazine Issue 7  
Platinum Business Magazine Issue 7  

Platinum Business Magazine, Issue 7. The independent business magazine for the Southeast.