Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of London in May 2008. Since taking office he has been a tireless advocate for people across the whole of London and has worked to make this great city of ours even greater.
Born in New York in 1964, his family moved back to London when he was five-years-old. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds of many Londoners, Boris himself is a ‘one man melting-pot’ of English, French, Turkish, Muslim, Jewish and German ancestry.
He went to primary school in Camden before a brief stint at the European School in Brussels and then Ashdown House, in East Sussex. From there he won a scholarship to Eton College before winning the highly-coveted Brackenbury scholarship to read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford. He was voted president of the Oxford Union in his final year.
After a brief stint as a trainee reporter on The Times, he learnt his trade as a journalist on the Wolverhampton Express and Star. He moved back to London in 1987 after being offered a job on the The Daily Telegraph as a leader and feature writer. He was promoted and became the Telegraph's European Community correspondent in 1989. In 1994 he was promoted again to assistant editor at the Telegraph and began working as a political columnist on The Spectator. He later became editor of the magazine, successfully running it until December 2005.
As well as being a journalist, Boris has written several books, both fictional and factual, including ‘The Dream of Rome’ and ‘Friends, Voters, Countrymen,’ an autobiographical account of the 2001 election campaign.
Boris’s political career kicked off in 2001 with his election to the House of Commons as MP for Henley on Thames. He quickly moved up the ranks and held a series of senior positions, including Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister for Higher Education.
In July 2007, Boris resigned from his role on Higher Education so that he was free to stand as the Conservative candidate for the Mayor of London. Having won the 2008 election he resigned as MP for Henley he now devotes his energies to what is “the best job in British politics.”
Why I'm Running
This city has a fantastic future. This year we will be welcoming the world to the London Olympics. I believe we will not only lay on the greatest ever Olympic games, it is my challenge, as Mayor, to harness the Olympics and all other investments to benefit the whole of London - from zone 1 to zone 6.
It is a challenge I relish because I believe we can be very proud of our record in City Hall over the last three and a half years.
Crime overall is so far down by 10%, crime on London's buses is down by an astonishing 30%, and the murder rate in London is now down to rates not seen since 1978.
We have set out with absolute determination to tackle the scourge of teenage crime – not only taking over 11,000 knives and guns off the streets and reducing the number of teenage murders, but also through mentoring programmes and backing the organisations that give young people hope and opportunity.
We have come up with novel solutions for youth crime, such as the new special educational unit at Feltham that has produced a dramatic fall in re-offending.
In spite of the recession, we have driven on with bold plans to improve London’s transport network, from the first air conditioning on the Tube to the new East London line that connects Croydon with Hackney and Canary Wharf.
And we have made a series of imaginative improvements to the quality of life in London. There is the diagonal crossing at Oxford Circus and other urban realm schemes; there is the planting of thousands of trees in outer London; there is the 24 hour freedom pass for older people; and a cycle hire scheme that Londoners have enthusiastically embraced.
We are the first administration in City Hall to secure a permit scheme for London’s roadworks – and our challenge now to the government is to go for full lane rental.
We now have a huge chance to take this city forward – to deliver the Tube upgrades, and Crossrail, and other vital transport investment. These projects will not only deliver apprenticeships, jobs and growth, but they will also ensure that London’s young and growing population will be able to move fast and in comfort around one of the cleanest and greenest cities on earth.
I have a very clear vision of how to maximise the benefits of the Olympics, so that we create a fantastic new district in the Olympic park that is linked in to a new green enterprise zone in what was once the wasteland of the docklands.
Our masterplan will deliver about 10,000 new homes in east London alone – and over the four years of this mayoralty we are still on course to deliver a record 50,000 new affordable homes.
And over the next 6 years it is our job to bring forward plans for Crossrail Two from Hackney to Chelsea, for new river crossings east of Tower Bridge, and for extending the Northern and Bakerloo lines to south London.
We need a dynamic and creative city hall to help sort out development in the Thames Gateway, and draw on the vast potential of London’s river and estuary.
I believe we have now forged a first rate team in the government of London, committed to sensible policies of reducing waste, but working flat out to make this city an ever more attractive and competitive place to live.
I don’t want London to go back to the kind of government we replaced in 2008 – dysfunctional, wasteful and endlessly trying to play one group of Londoners off against another. I want this city to go forward. That is why I am standing again, and I very much hope I can count on your support.