Boris Johnson's best moments as London mayor: The good, the bad, and the slightly awkward

 
Edith Hancock
Follow Edith
David Cameron Answers Questions With Business Staff In Hendon
One thing we will all remember is his hair (Source: Getty)

You might have missed the news, but Boris Johnson is clearing his desk today as a new mayor of London is soon to be named.

As Bojo packs his bags, The Capitalist looks back on his best, worst and most awkward moments from his time in office.

The Good

The Time He Was First Elected

The New Mayor Of London Is Announced
former mayor Ken Livingstone looks on as Johnson wins the 2008 election (Source: Getty)

The fresh faced Conservative candidate won with 1.17m first and second preference votes, compared with Mr Livingstone's 1.03m on a record turnout of 45 per cent.

The Time He Was Elected Again

Boris Johnson Attends His Constituency Declaration
Boris Johnson didn't have such an easy run in the 2012 elections (Source: Getty)

He won his second term by just 60,000 votes – or just three per cent - securing the backing of 1.05m Londoners over his Labour rival Ken Livingstone's 992,000.

The Time London Hosted The Olympics

Opening Ceremony of the 124th IOC Session
Boris helped London spruce up for the 2012 Olympic games (Source: Getty)

Although London had already secured the bid to host the 2012 Olympics without the mayor's help, the Games gave Johnson a chance to showcase his special brand of political buffoonery.

As David Cameron noted back at the time, any other politician getting caught on a zip wire (of which more later) would be the end of their career, but for Bojo, it was "a triumph".

The Time He Brought in Boris Bikes

The Mayor Of London Boris Johnson And Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Promote London's Cycle Hire Scheme
Boris Johnson goes for a spin with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Source: Getty)

Back in 2010, Boris landed a deal with Barclays worth £50m to roll out pay-per-ride bicycles across the capital. Santander announced it will sponsor the bikes last year. Under a seven-year sponsorship deal worth a cool £6.25m a year.

Of course, as with the Olympics, the plans for a city-wide bike scheme had begun well before BoJo took office. But we've yet to hear anyone refer to them as Ken Cycles....

The Time He Made Tech City a Thing

London: Things to Do And Places To visit
London is widely regarded as the fintech capital of the world (Source: Getty)

Boris Johnson did a great job pushing London's nascent tech industry into the mainstream, giving it more publicity than you could shake a brick at. The city's tech sector has been one of the country's biggest success stories since the financial crisis.

The Bad

All of the Times He Was Racist

Boris Johnson Speech on Europe
Boris Johnson's remarks about president Barack Obama did not go down well (Source: Getty)

The London mayor has a reputation for putting his foot in it. In fact, just last month Boris was accused of "dog-whistle racism" when criticising Barack Obama's views on Brexit, and even managed to call him "part-Kenyan". Nice. That wasn't the first time - but with him now eyeing up Prime Ministerial responsibilities, will it be the last?

The Time He Went Overboard on His Trip to Iraq​

Candidates Participate In The London Gay Mayoral Hustings
The Foreign Office were left picking up the hotel bar tab (Source: Getty)

Earlier this year, leaked emails revealed that Boris had gone slightly overboard on a diplomatic trip to Iraq. The mayor left the Foreign Office staff picking up a hotel bar tab, officials blocking his request for a visit to the front-line and Johnson driving a sports car out of a showroom.

The Time He Agreed to be Interviewed by Eddie Mair

"You're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?"

The interview, where Boris was mauled by BBC presenter Eddie Mair as he refused to confirm he wants to be PM in 2013, was widely denounced a "bicycle crash".

The Time He Made Up a Quote

Boris Johnson Speech on Europe
Boris Johnson made up a quote in his graduate days (Source: Getty)

In an episode Johnson described in 2002 as his "biggest cock-up", Johnson was sacked from his job as a graduate reporter at the Times for making up a quote in a story about an archaeological dig. While it didn't happen on his watch as mayor, it added fuel to the fire of his many critics.

The Awkward

The Time He Rugby-Tackled a Small Child

JAPAN-BRITAIN-DIPLOMACY
One of his finer moments in international relations (Source: Getty)

The mayor flattened the child while on a diplomatic visit to Japan promoting the Rugby World Cup. To this day, the mayor insists the kid started it.

The Time He Rugby-Tackled Someone Else in a Charity Football Match

Boris has a history of foul play. The then-MP rugby tackled a poor unsuspecting German player in a charity football match in 2006.

The Time He Got Stuck on a Zip Wire

Some politicians can't pose with a hotdog/bacon sandwich/pint of beer without looking a buffoon. But in this, arguably his most clownish episode, the mayor somehow managed to come out on top.

Widely regarded as the best day of most people's lives, Boris got stuck on a zip line while promoting the London 2012 games.

The Time He Had to Teach Zac Goldsmith How to Drink a Pint

In more recent gaffe news, Tory hopeful Zac Goldsmith is incapable of holding a pint of beer, while Boris Johnson looks slightly too capable.

The Time He Fell Over Playing Tug Of War

Boris Johnson Launches Poppy Day With An Armed Forces Tug Of War
Boris takes the strain at Tower Hill (Source: Getty)

BoJo struggled to take the strain in a game of tug of war last October to mark London Poppy Day.

Related articles