Who Is The Real Boris Johnson? 6 Essential Stories On The Next Prime Minister

It's time to swot up on the the man who will become Number 10's next occupant.

Today, the UK will have a new prime minister – and his name will probably be Boris Johnson (UPDATE - It is indeed Boris Johnson).

Following an *epic* (read: very long) Tory leadership contest – which saw a whopping 13 Conservative MPs throw their hats in the ring for the top job – the former Mayor of London is expected to be victorious.

But how much do you really know about Number 10’s next probable tenant? If you feel like you seriously need to swot up on Johnson, soon-to-be the most powerful man in the country, never fear – here’s HuffPost UK’s reading list.

The books

Just Boris: A Tale of Blonde Ambition, Sonia Purnell

Written by Sonia Purnell – one of Johnson’s Telegraph colleagues from his days reporting on the EU in Brussels – Just Boris: A Tale of Blond Ambition has been described as a “controversial” take on Boris’ move from public schoolboy to Mayor of London.

According to the Independent on Sunday, the book “portrays better than any predecessor the arrogance, opportunism and irresistible buffoonery of our most celebrated politician”.

Reports at the time suggested Johnson “hated” the book.

Boris: The Rise of Boris Johnson, Andrew Gimson

Andrew Gimson was the first to write a Boris Johnson biography, covering everything from his “exotic Turkish ancestry”, his relationship with his father and the time he was sacked from the shadow Cabinet in 2004 for lying about an affair.

The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson, Henry Mount

Haven’t heard enough from Johnson in the past few months? Luckily for you, Henry Mount has created a collection of the former foreign secretary’s best quotes, which apparently show off both his wit and his wisdom.

The articles

PA Wire/PA Images

Boris Johnson Has Prepared His Entire Life For This. Is He Ready?, Tom McTague

Having spoken to a range of Boris Johnson’s friends and colleagues, Tom McTague has crafted a 7,000-word essay on the blond-haired politician’s 40-year pursuit to become PM – from his tumultuous childhood to his “egocentric belief in his personal power to do great things… through the force of his personality”. Read it here.

Held Captive By His Carers For Four Weeks… Let’s Look At Boris Johnson’s Best Bits, Marina Hyde

If you haven’t got time to delve into Johnson’s entire past, why not refresh yourself about his most recent leadership campaign? Guardian columnist Marina Hyde has a hilarious rundown of Boris’ “best bits” – including *that* mysterious paparazzi photo and his handling of the Kim Darroch leak. Read it here.

Boris Johnson, The Prime Minister? I’m Sorry To Say That I’m Partly To Blame, Matthew D’Acona

An interesting look at how the media helped aid Johnson’s meteoric rise from Brussels correspondent to potential prime minister.

“If Johnson becomes prime minister, it will say something truly terrible about the contemporary Conservative party,” writes Matthew D’Acona, former editor of the Spectator. “The media should hang its collective head in shame.

“But I can’t help feeling that the culpability stretches much further afield: to all those who, over the years and perhaps against their better judgement, laughed along at this brutally ambitious politician.” Read it here.

From the man himself

Want a take straight from the horses’ mouth? Boris Johnson hasn’t written an autobiography (yet), but he has written a series of novels – could these offer the insight we want into the man who will probably be our next PM?

There are certainly a few to pick from – he has found time to pen books on everything from ancient Rome to famous Londoners. His political thriller – and first novel – Seventy Two Virgins certainly looks *interesting*, while his Winston Churchill biography ’The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History’ could suggest what kind of leader Johnson aspires to be.


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