His story really started in 2008. He became the London mayor when his party rival stepped down and he was the only option left. At this point he had already rugby tackled a German player in a German charity match and had been the MP for Henley. While having to deal with many controversies in city hall, he will be fondly remembered for being stuck on a zip-wire and the introduction of Boris bikes. Indeed his policies were divisive, but he was seen mainly as a harmless buffoon if given not too much power.
A clever man, he was portrayed as the one to speak his mind and appear in funny youtube videos rugby tackling children and pulling off incredible basketball shots. A man seeming only to want to enjoy life.
However, power was exactly what Mr. Johnson wanted. Having successfully become the MP of Uxbridge and South Ruislip and received a special Boris place in the cabinet he was gaining power and many started to see him as dangerous. With David Cameron saying that he would resign by 2020, this meant that there would need to be a new leader and likely a new Prime Minister. Boris saw his opportunity. Now, how would he take it? The referendum of course.
In many people’s minds it was clear that Mr. Johnson wanted to remain in the EU. There has certainly been sufficient evidence to say so. However, he decided to back the vote leave campaign. He wanted to show he could lead a campaign, although only a successful one and not a winning one. He wanted to show that he could gain votes, aligning himself with Conservative members who would generally favour leaving the EU. However, his own secret view would be that Britain would be more secure politically and economically if they remained in Europe.
It was all going so well, his master plan was almost complete, until slightly too many people ruined it on June 23rd. The United Kingdom voted leave. Boris’ career fell down around him. He was in a position where he had won the battle but lost the war.
As soon as Mr. Cameron resigned it was clear, Mr Johnson had alienated half of the country and many more than half of the members of parliament. With such a small majority, he wouldn’t be able to act as many of them backed remain and despised him. He was big, he was boisterous and he had created a toxic atmosphere which would impede him from working with many MPs. Should he have become PM, it would be with revolt and with him struggling to guarantee a willing parliamentary majority.
He was also in a terrible position where as PM he would have been ruined. He had two options:
Bringing Britain out of the EU would mean he would have to invoke Article 50, bringing about years of uncertainty, likely recession and upsetting many people with whatever deal. He would be the man remembered as messing us all up.
There was however an alternative: He could not bring Britain out of the EU. He could invoke a second referendum and he could escape the negative consequences of leaving. He would be the man remembered as going against the people.
So he decided to quit. Having taken us in a direction, he decided not to continue in order to progress himself as a politician. Maybe when everything calms down, he will bumble back onto our screens and campaign to lead again. This is likely as his aim is no doubt to gain power.
For now he will be remembered as the selfish individual who divided the country purely for his own gain and refused to deal with the consequences.