Brothers at odds: vassal or vassalage? Johnson the younger: a quick profile
The similarities between the two Johnson MPs are far greater than the differences. Both were educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford; although Jo, seven and a half years younger, outshone Boris, with a first in modern history.
The 46-year-old also pursued a career in journalism before entering politics, after a short stint at Deutsche Bank. He worked at the Financial Times for 13 years, where he edited the Lex investment column after stints in Paris and Delhi. He was selected for the safe Conservative seat of Orpington by the narrowest of margins, beating Sajid Javid, after the first ballot between the two was tied. He won by a single vote among association members on the second ballot.
Johnson was quickly made head of the Downing Street policy unit by David Cameron, although at the time there was some surprise – not because of his talents but because of his relatively left-wing views.
Johnson became universities minister after the 2015 election – a job he enjoyed – before, to his disappointment, being reshuffled to become rail minister.
In his resignation statement Johnson said Theresa May’s Brexit plans would leave the UK with a choice between “vassalage and chaos”. Last December, his elder brother warned the UK would go from “member state to a vassal state.”
If Jo Johnson’s career as an MP began with a promise that he would sound different to Boris Johnson, in the latest iteration the two sound oddly similar.