Boris Johnson to renounce US citizenship

The Mayor of London has announced that he will approach the US ambassador to make the change

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The Independent Online

Boris Johnson has announced that he intends to renounce his US citizenship to reinforce his commitment to Britain.

The Mayor of London is a dual national as he was born in New York in 1964, where his parents registered the birth with the American authorities and the British consulate.

“It's an accident of birth that has left me with this thing. I've got to find a way of sorting it out,” he told the Sunday Times, while he was on a six-day tour around the States.

Mr Johnson, who is running as Conservative candidate for the west London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, plans to speak to the US ambassador Matthew Barzun about relinquishing his passport.

“It is a laborious business. They don't make it easy for you,” the mayor said.

It is particularly difficult to renounce US citizenship as there are suspicions that individuals make the decision to reduce their tax burden – unusually US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income.

The parliamentary candidate has been attempting to renounce his citizenship for a number of years. As far back as 2006 he said: “What I want is the right not to have an American passport.”

On his way to Mexico that year, the mayor had been unable to travel via Houston on his British passport, as US immigration officials force their citizens to travel on a US passport when entering the country.

While constitutional experts do not believe dual nationality would pose a problem for Mr Johnson should he seek to become prime minister, it could lead to questions about where his loyalties lie.

Until he officially renounces his citizenship, Mr Johnson is eligible to run for president and has joked about the possibility in the past.