From London Mayor to No 10: Boris Johnson's lengthy political career in pictures

Boris Johnson pictured with a balloon version of himself in Hartlepool. Credit: PA

Boris Johnson's resignation as an MP marks the end of a long and colourful parliamentary career, that was ultimately brought down by scandal.

Mr Johnson first became an MP for Henley in 2001 before resigning following his election as Mayor of London in 2008.

He served two terms as mayor in the previously Labour-run capital, which propelled the former journalist to national prominence.

Mr Johnson, who became MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in 2015, was perhaps the most public face of the Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum which he and his allies won.

Following the resignation of David Cameron and the failure of Theresa May to win over the country with her Brexit deal, Mr Johnson seized the opportunity to become prime minister.

Mr Johnson was left hanging in mid-air after he got stuck on a zipwire at a 2012 Olympic event at Victoria Park in London. Credit: Ben Kendall/PA
Mr Johnson watches the election results in 2001 with his then-wife Marina Wheeler as he wins the Henley seat for the Conservatives. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA
Donning a pair of fishing waders, Mr Johnson helps to plant flowers at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Mr Johnson taking part in a tug of war with Armed Forces personnel at the launch of London Poppy Day 2015. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA
Mr Johnson tries out a virtual reality headset at Google’s offices in Israel. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

He went on to deliver the biggest Conservative win since the Thatcher years in the 2019 Christmas election - but the Covid-19 pandemic that followed would eventually lead to his undoing.

Brexit was the issue that won Mr Johnson popularity in parts of the UK normally loath to embrace Conservatives.

He surprised many with his decision to back Britain's departure from the EU and became a familiar figure, descending from a bespoke red bus to rally voters to end the union with the continent that started in 1973.

After the UK voted leave in June 2016 - shortly followed by David Cameron's resignation as PM, many saw Mr Johnson as the man to lead the country out of the European Union.

But as he prepared to contest the leadership, the shock decision of ally Michael Gove to stand scuppered his campaign before it had started.

In the end, Mrs May, a Remainer, won the contest, and put Mr Johnson in charge of the Foreign Office as the UK began what would be a fraught process of exiting the then 28-member body.

Gisela Stuart, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove hold a press conference at Brexit HQ in Westminster after David Cameron quits as PM. Credit: Mary Turner/PA
Mr Johnson responding to a request for a kiss from Gina Andrade in Wembley during his 2008 mayoral campaign. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA
Conservative Party leader David Cameron congratulates Boris Johnson on becoming London mayor in 2008. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Mr Johnson after winning the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat on election night 2015. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA
Mr Johnson on an early morning jog in 2004 after he was sacked from the shadow cabinet by Tory party leader Michael Howard. Credit: Chris Young/PA
Mr Johnson forces a rugby tackle on German footballer Maurizio Gaudino during a legends match in Reading in 2006 Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA
The former Mayor of London promoting a sports participation initiative outside County Hall in 2008. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA
Mr Johnson tales part in a street cricket tournament in aid of charity in 2015. Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA
To mark Japan hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Mr Johnson played rugby with school children and knocked one to the ground. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
An ice cream stop in Barry, South Wales, during the leadership campaign Credit: Frank Augstein/PA
Boris Johnson brings tea for the press to drink outside his house in Thame in August 2018 Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Mr Johnson eventually quit as foreign secretary amid discord over Mrs May’s perceived soft Brexit.

After she was eventually toppled, he secured a clear win in the resulting contest - arriving in 10 Downing Street and soon called a vote to seek a mandate for his "oven-ready" deal he'd struck with the EU.

Voters gave him a ringing endorsement, with the Tories claiming spectacular wins in “red wall” seats which had previously been seen as safe for Labour.

Little did Mr Johnson know that the imminent leaving of the EU would soon be superseded by a crisis like no other.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in early 2020, Mr Johnson's popularity was initially boosted significantly as he was thrust into the spotlight at a time of national crisis.

Mr Johnson learning how to make a latte at a Starbucks branch in London Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Pouring a pint during the Vote Leave campaign in St Austell. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Mr Johnson and then girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive in Downing Street after the landslide victory in the 2019 general election. Credit: Yui Mok/PA
The former Prime Minister speaks to British troops stationed in Estonia during a visit shortly before Christmas. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The coronavirus outbreak saw him taking unprecedented decisions, governing every aspect of citizens’ lives with his March 23, 2020 address telling people to stay at home.

Mr Johnson fell victim to the virus himself and was treated in intensive care. His physical health recovered and he resumed full duties, but events during lockdown would trigger his political downfall in the end.

The then-PM was credited by some for a fast vaccine rollout, but an inquiry will determine his handling of the pandemic.

It was the so-called partygate scandal of socialising at the heart of Westminster while the four nations were locked down that saw his popularity tumble.

After a series of bad election results, the Chris Pincher scandal proved the final straw for a party that had narrowly voted to keep the leader in post just weeks earlier.

Mr Johnson speaking to the Duke of Sussex during the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in late January 2020. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
The Johnsons spotted at Twickenham Stadium during the Guinness Six Nations shortly after news emerged that they were to become parents. Credit: Adam Davy/PA
A weary looking Mr Johnson speaking at a Covid media briefing in Downing Street on the 99th day since the Tories won the election. Credit: Julian Simmonds/Daily Telegraph/PA
Outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson makes a speech outside 10 Downing Street in 2022. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Boris Johnson is greeted by officials as he arrives at Balmoral for an audience with the then Queen to formally resign Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA
Boris and Carrie Johnson arriving ahead of the coronation ceremony of the King. Credit: Dan Charity/The Sun/PA

With mass resignations ensuing, Mr Johnson finally agreed to stand down before eventually being replaced by Liz Truss, whose own tenure was historically brief.

Mr Johnson’s erstwhile ally Rishi Sunak took over at Number 10 but parliamentary scrutiny of his Covid conduct did not abate.

Friday’s decision to quit as an MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip marks the latest downward trajectory of a politician who was a winner with the voters but who made many political enemies.

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