Boris Johnson is many things, but predictable is not one of them. Something of an enigma, the Mayor of London is a bundle of contradictions. Self-deprecating yet tenacious, the old Etonian is both a classical scholar and a Have I Got News for You contestant.
Bringing us closer to the Brexit supporter, Petronella Wyatt, the British journalist who had an affair with Bojo, has revealed a number of intimate details about the politico in her serialised Mail on Sunday column. One of these being the rather surprising claim that he prefers to be called by his Christian name ‘Alexander’, shortened to 'Al' by those closest to him. “One day he said: ‘Don’t call me Boris. People I like don’t call me that'", Wyatt writes. It turns out Boris is his second name.
His long-time friend also spoke of Johnson’s lone wolf tendencies. In her own words, “He is famous for being friendly, yet he has few real friends. This sets him apart from Cameron, who has a large circle of ‘mates’. I remarked on this once, after Boris kept introducing me to the same two people whom, it transpired, comprised his entire social circle. He replied that he was ‘a bit of a loner’. He is not ‘clubbable’ and does not enjoy the company of other high-achieving men”. According to Wyatt, he is also not a fan of parties, especially the non-political variety.
Wyatt, who is the former deputy editor of The Spectator, also said that Johnson was greatly governed by his desire to be loved by others. “Like many loners, he has a compensating need to be liked. I sometimes think his ambition is a consequence of this. There is an element of Boris that wants to be Prime Minister because the love of his family and Tory voters is not enough. He wants to be loved by the entire world,” she writes.
Later she explains that this element of his persona is at odds with David Cameron and George Osborne’s temperament. “I discovered that an effective way of teasing Boris was to tell him that ‘so and so dislikes you,’ whereas if you were to say the same thing to Cameron or Osborne they would remain utterly unmoved, like a deaf person at a concerto”.
Interestingly, Wyatt, who is known as “Petsy” to her friends, also speaks candidly about Johnson’s views on women and relationships. “He is inordinately proud of his Turkish ancestry and his views on matters such as monogamy are decidedly Eastern,” she writes. “‘I find it genuinely unreasonable that men should be confined to one woman,’ he has grumbled to me, and cannot understand the media’s reaction to his personal affairs”.
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