Wins election, gets engaged, nearly dies, has a baby: Boris Johnson's remarkable six months

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finishes making a statement on his first day back at work in Downing Street, London, after recovering from a bout with the coronavirus that put him in intensive care, Monday, April 27, 2020. The highly contagious COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted on nations around the globe, many imposing self isolation and exercising social distancing when people move from their homes. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Boris Johnson has experienced a remarkable six months. (AP/Frank Augstein)

Even by a prime minister’s standards, Boris Johnson has experienced an intense six months.

In that period, he won an election, “got Brexit done”, got engaged, nearly died from coronavirus and, on Wednesday morning, became father to a new baby.

Here is a timeline of Johnson’s remarkable past six months.

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31 October

After months of exhausting Brexit deadlock in Parliament, in which Johnson’s government suffers a number of humiliating defeats, the PM finally gets his wish for a snap general election.

6 November onwards

Five weeks of campaigning begins, in which the PM utters the words “get Brexit done” hundreds of times.

Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson wears boxing gloves emblazoned with "Get Brexit Done" as he poses for a photograph at Jimmy Egan's Boxing Academy in Manchester north-west England on November 19, 2019, during a general election campaign trip. - Britain will go to the polls on December 12, 2019 to vote in a pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by Frank Augstein / various sources / AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/AP/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson wearing 'get Brexit done' boxing gloves on the campaign trail in Manchester. (Frank Augstein)

Controversies include taking a reporter’s phone and putting it in his pocket after the journalist shows him a picture of a four-year-old boy sleeping on a hospital floor.

He also leads the UK’s response to the London Bridge terror attack, in which Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones are murdered by convicted terrorist Usman Khan.

12 December

Johnson’s Conservatives win a huge majority of 80 in the election, giving the PM authority in the Commons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving for the count for the Uxbridge & Ruislip South constituency in the 2019 General Election. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson on election night at the count for his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)

20 December

Johnson demonstrates his parliamentary muscle for the first time as the government’s Brexit bill sails through the Commons at its second reading.

31 January

Brexit “gets done” as the UK officially leaves the EU at 11pm. Johnson holds a celebration in Downing Street.

On the same day, however, something happens that is far more significant to the nation’s future. The first two cases of a deadly new illness called coronavirus are recorded in the UK.

2 February

Johnson leads the response to another terror attack, this time in Streatham, south London. A man and a woman are knifed but do not sustain life-threatening injuries.

13 February

In a Cabinet reshuffle calamity, Johnson loses his chancellor, Sajid Javid, who resigns after being told by the PM that he must fire his team of advisers and replace them with Number 10-approved staff. Rishi Sunak is appointed as Javid’s replacement.

18 February

Johnson agrees a divorce settlement with his ex-wife Marina Wheeler.

29 February

Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds announce they are engaged and expecting a baby.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Carrie Symonds and Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. The Commonwealth represents 2.4 billion people and 54 countries, working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social and democratic goals. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

3 March

The number of coronavirus cases is slowly growing, reaching 51.

Johnson, however, tells reporters at a Downing Street press briefing: “I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were coronavirus patients and I was shaking hands with everybody.”

12 March

Nine days later, Johnson warns of “many more” coronavirus deaths as the hospital death toll reaches 12.

23 March

As the hospital death toll continues to accelerate, a grim-faced Johnson imposes a draconian UK-wide lockdown in a Downing Street address to the nation.

27 March

Johnson tests positive for COVID-19 and goes into self-isolation in his flat in Number 11, Downing Street.

In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside 11 Downing Street to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in London, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Pippa Fowles/The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.(Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)
Boris Johnson joins the 'clap for carers' initiative outside 11 Downing Street during his self-isolation on 2 April. He was hospitalised three days later. (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)

5 April

After failing to recover from his symptoms, namely a high fever, Johnson is admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster.

Number 10 insists it is a precautionary measure and that he remains in charge of the government.

6 April

Johnson is admitted to intensive care as his symptoms worsen.

Police officers outside St Thomas' Hospital in Central London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care as his coronavirus symptoms persist.
Police officers outside St Thomas' Hospital after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care. (PA)

After facing death, his condition improves and he comes out of intensive care on 9 April.

12 April

Johnson leaves hospital and begins two weeks of recovery at Chequers, the PM’s official country residence.

In a deeply personal address to the nation, he says the “NHS has saved my life, no question”.

27 April

Johnson marks his return to work with a speech outside Number 10. On the same day, the government’s official death toll in hospitals reaches 21,092.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement on his first day back at work in Downing Street, London, after recovering from a bout with the coronavirus that put him in intensive care, Monday, April 27, 2020. The highly contagious COVID-19 coronavirus has impacted on nations around the globe, many imposing self isolation and exercising social distancing when people move from their homes. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Boris Johnson makes a statement in Downing Street on Monday. (AP/Frank Augstein)

29 April

Johnson and Symonds announce the birth of a “healthy baby boy at a London hospital”.

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