Boris Johnson and wife to divorce as Brexiteer 'clears the decks'
PUBLISHED: 14:02 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:11 07 September 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Bungling Brexiteer Boris Johnson is to divorce from his wife of 25 years.
The former foreign secretary and his wife Marina Wheeler have announced they have separated and are going through the process of divorce.
In a joint personal statement the couple said that their separation occurred “several months ago”.
The announcement comes after The Sun revealed the Conservative MP and his lawyer wife, both 54, were no longer living together.
In their statement the pair said: “Several months ago, after 25 years of marriage, we decided it was in our best interests to separate.
“We have subsequently agreed to divorce and that process is under way.
“As friends we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead. We will not be commenting further.”
There is speculation Johnson is “clearing the decks” in a bid to avoid any scandal as he mounts a challenge to become PM.
One Tory source said: “This is Boris getting ready to mount a bid to topple the prime minister. The last thing he wants is news like this coming out while he is actively trying to get people behind his bid for leadership. That will increase with conference on the horizon.”
Johnson was a childhood friend of Marina – the daughter of BBC journalist Charles Wheeler – when they were both pupils at the European School in Brussels.
He met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen while they were students at Oxford, and they wed in 1987, but the marriage was annulled in 1993 and he married Marina later that year. The couple have two sons and two daughters.
Johnson has repeatedly come under scrutiny over his personal life. The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while mayor of London in 2009.
In 2004 he was sacked from the Tory frontbench over a reported affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.
It is not know whether the couple’s decision to separate predates Johnson’s resignation as foreign secretary. The pair were photographed together moving out of his official resident Carlton House Terrace shortly after he quit the cabinet.
News of the divorce comes as Johnson is at the centre of intense speculation over a possible challenge to Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister.
He walked out of May’s cabinet in July in protest at her Chequers plan for future relations with the EU, and this week used his regular column in the Daily Telegraph to condemn her Brexit blueprint as a disaster.
He is due to address fellow eurosceptics on the fringe of this month’s Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, in an intervention aimed at overshadowing May’s efforts to rally activists behind her plan.