Boris Johnson: Where is he now and is he still MP?

The Independent looks at the former prime minister and what he’s been up to lately

Faiza Saqib
Thursday 07 December 2023 08:43 GMT
‘We are showing solidarity’: Boris Johnson attends march against antisemitism in London

From partygate to wallpapergate, Boris Johnson has never been far from controversy.

The former prime minister stepped down from Number 10 in July 2022, saying: “No one in politics is remotely indispensable”.

Speaking outside Downing Street at the time before stepping down as PM, Mr Johnson thanked those who voted Conservative and said the reason he fought so long to remain in office was because he thought it was “my job, my duty and my obligation to you".

After many scandals and an investigation into his conduct, Mr Johnson bid farewell for the second time in early June 2023 - but this time it was as a member of parliament.

The former Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP claimed he was forced out of parliament and branded a probe into his conduct as a “hitjob”. He also said the Committee of Privileges was “determined to use the proceedings against me to drive me out of parliament.”

So, since leaving both positions as PM and MP - what has Mr Johnson been up to lately?

He is due to attend the Covid inquiry

Boris Johnson is due to attend the Covid inquiry

A Covid-19 inquiry has been launched which looks into the British government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and seeks to understand the decisions made that led to strict lockdown measures.

It also looks at how our evolving understanding of the virus guided policy, what the government got right and what mistakes were made, with a view to being better prepared for future pandemics and public health emergencies.

Mr Johnson will be next in the hot seat at the inquiry, in one of the most anticipated hearings yet to come.

The hearing is due to take place on Wednesday 6 December from 10am. Mr Johnson will answer questions about the government and what measures it took during the pandemic.

It will also offer the ex-PM a chance to answer criticism of his handling of the pandemic.

So far, the probe has painted a damning picture of Mr Johnson’s operation, with an exchange of secret WhatsApp messages revealing the chaos between government officials.

Becoming a columnist for MailOnline

Just a few days after announcing his leave as MP, Mr Johnson confirmed he was joining the Daily Mail as a columnist.

However, his writing endeavours were not taken well. After his announcement, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba), suggested it was not notified about Mr Johnson’s new role - which is a big problem.

Former ministers who have left the Government in the past two years must apply to the independent watchdog before taking up a new appointment or role.

An Acoba spokeswoman told the PA news agency: “We haven’t had an application and we will be writing to Mr Johnson.”

The former PM has continued to produce work for the outlet, with his latest take being on the royal rumble and Omid Scobie’s bombshell book, Endgame.

Awarded honorary degree in Lviv

Zelensky (R) gives an award to Boris Johnson in 2022

Mr Johnson jetted off to Ukraine in September this year to receive an honorary degree.

He was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv – this translates to “for the sake of honour”.

Mr Johnson was welcomed by the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi who described the former PM as “ a great friend of Ukraine.”

Mr Johnson was a loyal supporter of Kyiv during his time as prime minister and has often visited the country both before and after stepping down in July 2022.

In another recent surprise visit in January 2023, Mr Johnson said: “It is a privilege to visit Ukraine at the invitation of President Zelensky. The suffering of the people of Ukraine has gone on for too long.”

He added: “The only way to end this war is for Ukraine to win – and to win as fast as possible. This is the moment to double down and to give the Ukrainians all the tools they need to finish the job. The sooner Putin fails, the better for Ukraine and for the whole world.”

Read more on Mr Johnson’s upcoming appearance at the Covid-19 inquiry here

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