Boris Johnson reveals women who have inspired: From Boudicca to Malala
Boris Johnson reveals the five women who have inspired him the most: From Boudicca to Malala the prime minister nominates the heroines who have shaped his life
- The Prime Minister revealed who the five women who shaped his life are
- He selected a wide range of heroines such as Kate Bush and Malala Yousafz
- Claimed it had been difficult to chose five and also name checked the Queen
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed the five women who have inspired him the most throughout his lifetime from a singer-songwriter to a Celtic queen and even his own grandmother ‘Granny Butter’.
Speaking in a revealing interview to mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, the 55-year-old praised the women who shaped him into the leader he has become today.
Mr Johnson today declared that he would take paternity leave when his partner Carrie Symonds has their first child this summer but failed to mention his girlfriend in the list, or even his ex-wife Marina Wheeler.
The leader of the Conservative Party told Grazia magazine why men in suits should listen to women such as brave Malala Yousafz and claimed there was no dinner quite like his grandmother’s ‘Uncle Ben’s rice with tomato, onion and tuna fish’.
He added that it was hard to chose five women and also reeled off names such as Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi and the Queen as women who inspired him but didn’t quite make the cut.
Boris Johnson (pictured above today at a news conference in London) revealed the five women who have inspired him most during his lifetime
Carrie Symonds announced at the weekend that she and Boris Johnson are having a baby and are engaged. Mr Johnson didn’t mention her or his ex-wife as women he found inspirational
The Prime Minister’s first entry on his list of women who shaped his life is Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
Now 22-years-old, Malala shot to prominence on the global stage when she defied odds in her home country Pakistan.
At the age of 11 the youngster teamed up with the BBC in order to tell the wider world what life had been like in the Taliban-occupied territory.
The Taliban defied girls going to school and Malala had campaigned for her right to education.
In October 2012 she was shot in the head and soon transported to the UK where she was given treatment. She made a recovery and has since gone on to study at Oxford University.
On meeting Malala in 2014 Mr Johnson said: ‘She was so brave, so right and so luminously idealistic that I could see I was in the presence of an every day saint’.
He added that Malala had made a ‘huge difference’ and said that ‘Men in suits’ should listen to her.
Mr Johnson praised Malala for the work she had done for young girls everywhere with her international foundation and her campaign for female education.
Malala (above in Australia in 2018) shot to prominence on the global stage when she defied odds in her home country Pakistan
Yvonne Eileen Irene Williams aka Granny Butter
Next on the list was none other than Mr Johnson’s own grandmother, Yvonne Eileen Irene Williams.
The Prime Minister said the main reason he wanted to include his grandmother was because of her ‘sheer unconquerable optimism’.
He praised the way she lived on a rainy Exmoor hill farm that had no electricity and said she had the ‘greatest human gift of all: of being overjoyed to see you’.
‘It didn’t matter what you had done, ‘Darling’, she would cry ‘how wonderful to see you’.
Mr Johnson added that Granny Butter would create sofa games for the children and would create ‘special food for them’.
Unconquerable optimism: Granny Butter, with her beloved dogs, standing at the kitchen window on her farm in Exmoor
Boris Johnson’s family pictured in the garden of their Exmoor home in 1960’s. From left his grandfather Johnny, Birdie, his father Stanley, Granny Butter, known as Buster and Peter with Hilary in the front
Not one to shy away from the champions of history, Mr Johnson placed Boudicca third on the list.
Born in 30D she was a queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe and is famed for leading an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
Championing this strong woman, Mr Johnson said nothing would let Boudicca get in the way of attacking those who did her wrong.
He added that Boudicca ‘couldn’t stand bankers ripping everyone off’. A strange comparison to make considering Mr Johnson’s comments about bankers in 2019, when he said he ‘stuck up for the bankers’.
At a hustings in Birmingham he said: ‘I can’t think of any other politician, even Conservative politician, who from the crash of 2008 onwards actually stuck up for the bankers’.
Mr Johnson clearly admired Boudicca’s bravery and skills and said: ‘Boudicca’s prosperity ended up with an empire seven times bigger than the Roman empire at is vastest.
‘And who can say her spirit is not alive in the country today’.
A drawing a Celtic queen Boudica is seen above, Mr Johnson admired her skills and bravery
Mr Johnson started working with the Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit 12-years-ago and said she made it onto the list because she ‘is the person’ who will tackle some of the most difficult issues facing the country to date.
He said he has never met anyone as efficient as her and said the arts world completely trusts her.
Ms Mirza is from Oldham and wrote a PhD on culture before becoming London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture in 2008.
The Prime Minister said she had a tough time winning people over but she managed the challenge and he described her as being ‘groovy and on trend’.
He said he is proud of what she has achieved and added that the current government must be focused on delivery and that Munira is a part of that.
Mr Johnson is pictured with Munira Mirzaat the Royal Academy of Arts in London – 03 Jun 2008
Munira Mirza started working with the Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit 12-years-ago, she is pictured above in London in 2014
As Mr Johnson is known for his whacky comments and sometimes unruly locks, there is no surprise that he threw a curve ball into the list with singer-songwriter Kate Bush.
In choosing his last entry he said it had been a challenge to chose five women and said Bush had ‘stirred his emotions’.
As Mr Johnson is known for his whacky comments and sometimes unruly locks, there is no surprise that he threw a curve ball into the list with singer-songwriter Kate Bush
He said she was one British artist who wrote great pop songs which formed the soundtrack to his adolescence.
Despite this he admitted that there were some words in her songs that he couldn’t understand.
He also said that he didn’t understand why she ‘hopped around in a red chiffon thing’.
Kate Bush, pictured above in London in 2014, was placed fifth on Boris Johnson’s list but he said he didn’t understand why she ‘hopped around’
Boris Johnson declares he will take paternity leave when partner Carrie Symonds has their first child this summer – despite his hectic work schedule with G7 and EU summits
- Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announced at weekend they are having baby
- New arrival is expected in the ‘early summer’ – probably late May or early June
- The PM said he will ‘almost certainly’ take paternity leave when baby comes
Boris Johnson today declared he will take paternity leave when his partner Carrie Symonds has their child.
The couple announced at the weekend that they had become engaged, and are expecting their first child in the early summer – thought to be late May or early June.
The timing immediately raised questions about whether he would be able to take a break, as his working schedule appears to be hectic.
It includes a G7 summit in the US in June, and a crucial meeting with EU leaders on the post-Brexit trade deal the same month.
Carrie Symonds announced at the weekend that she and Boris Johnson are having a baby and are engaged
However, asked at a press conference in Downing Street today whether he would be taking paternity leave, Mr Johnson said: ‘Almost certainly, yes.’
The couple are the first unmarried one to live in Downing Street together for many years.
They met when Miss Symonds worked on his successful bid for a second term as London Mayor in 2012, but were only linked romantically in 2018, shortly after his split from Miss Wheeler.
They have made very few public appearances, with Miss Symonds often on the sidelines away from the rest of his family.
Mr Johnson’s former wife Marina Wheeler – with whom he has four children – has been granted a decree nisi, the initial stage of a divorce.
However, it is not clear if she has a decree absolute – the second stage in the process.
Miss Symonds, 31, is said to be keen on a home birth, which could mean the baby is born at No10 Downing Street or Chequers.
Friends reportedly say Ms Wheeler is ‘crushed’ by her ex-husband’s double announcement.
A source told The Sun: ‘Carrie has told Boris that a home birth is one thing she’s very keen on. She likes to do things her way.
‘She has a few options where she could have their firstborn. It could mean Downing Street, Chequers or even Chevening, Kent.’
Only one in 50 women in England and Wales opt for home births. There are greater risks of complications, from 5 in every 1,000 births in hospital to 9 in every 1,000 at home.
Asked at a press conference in Downing Street today whether he would be taking paternity leave, Mr Johnson said: ‘Almost certainly, yes.’
Miss Symonds, 31, moved into Downing Street with Mr Johnson last year (pictured together outside on December 13)
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