The man who made Boris

Daily Express - - LETTERS -

Daily Ex­press Wed­nes­day Novem­ber 15 2017 stu­dent at Manch­ester Univer­sity, his grand­fa­ther “al­ways needs to be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion. He and my grand­mother are both very driven and am­bi­tious peo­ple… Suc­cess is in the blood. All their kids have learned from them in striv­ing to be the best. They some­times come across as silly in pub­lic but in re­al­ity they’re very clever peo­ple.”

As a child Stan­ley won schol­ar­ships to Sher­borne pub­lic school and then Ox­ford where he was awarded the pres­ti­gious Newdi­gate Prize for po­etry. It was also while at Ox­ford that he was ap­proached by the se­cret ser­vices.

He has claimed that his six months as a spook in­volved a mis­sion to blow up a power sta­tion in Blyth, Northum­ber­land, as well as learn­ing tech­niques “so se­cret that I would risk run­ning foul of the Of­fi­cial Se­crets Act were I to re­veal them”.

And amid the gaffes and japes has come a ca­reer that has seen him amass a prop­erty port­fo­lio of more than 20 houses as well as gain se­ri­ous re­spect as a writer and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist.

His lat­est novel is de­scribed as “brilliant” by none other than Ken Liv­ing­stone, whom his son suc­ceeded as mayor of London. As with Boris keener-eyed com­men­ta­tors agree that one sim­ply does not achieve that level of suc­cess by dint of buf­foon­ish charm alone.

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