| Lord Johnson of Marylebone |
|Born||Joseph Edmund Johnson|
|Alma mater||Oxford University/Balliol College, INSEAD, Université Libre de Bruxelles|
|Parents|| • Stanley Johnson|
• Charlotte Fawcett
|Member of||Bullingdon Club, Ditchley/Governors, Ditchley/UK, European Council on Foreign Relations, Franco-British Colloque, Königswinter|
The younger brother of Boris Johnson, Jo Johnson resigned from Theresa May's government on 9 November 2018, citing the failure of the Brexit negotiations to achieve what had been promised during the EU Referendum and his wish to campaign for a new People's Vote.
On 24 July 2019, Boris Johnson appointed Jo Johnson Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation meaning he would be attending the meetings of the cabinet, and was appointed to the privy council the next day. On 5 September 2019, Jo Johnson resigned from the government and announced he would stand down as MP, describing his position as "torn between family and national interest". He stood down at the UK/2019 General Election rather than resigning, therefore minimising any potential political embarrassment for his brother, the prime minister.
On 31 July 2020, the announcement was made of Johnson's elevation to the House of Lords as part of the 2019 Dissolution Honours and he was created Baron Johnson of Marylebone in the City of Westminster on 12 October 2020.
In 2010, Jo Johnson was selected as the Conservative Party parliamentary candidate for the safe seat of Orpington in the London Borough of Bromley from a shortlist of six contenders. He retained the seat, tripling the Conservative majority of his predecessor John Horam to over 17,000 at the 2010 General Election. His majority increased again in the 2015 General Election to 19,979.
Against the national trend, he increased the Conservative share of the vote in the constituency by 5.5% points to 62.9% at the 2017 General Election, although his majority declined to 19,453. By numerical vote share, Johnson's seat of Orpington is the safest Conservative seat in London.
Downing Street Policy Unit
As a junior Cabinet Office minister, he chaired a newly created Conservative Parliamentary advisory board, known as the Prime Minister's Policy Board, consisting of Tory MPs.
Minister for Universities and Science
On 11 May 2015, it was announced that Johnson had been appointed Minister for Universities and Science at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Writing about Johnson’s appointment for Times Higher Education, John Morgan noted:
- "Mr Johnson’s reputation as a pro-European is likely to please vice-chancellors, many of whom are concerned by the Tories’ pledge to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership by 2017. Universities UK pointed out that British higher education institutions benefit from around £1.2 billion in European Research Council funding each year."
In this role, Johnson introduced the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, which the Times Higher Education described as the most significant legislation in 25 years. This overhauled the regulatory framework for English universities, replaced the Higher Education Funding Council for England with a new regulator, the Office for Students, and established mechanisms to hold universities more accountable for the quality of teaching and student outcomes. The Act also created a new single national strategic research body, UK Research and Innovation, bringing together the UK's fragmented research funding bodies.
Minister of Transport
On 9 November 2018, Johnson resigned his position, citing disillusionment with the government’s Brexit strategy and called for a fresh vote on Brexit with an option to remain. Johnson argued that Britain was "on the brink of the greatest crisis" since World War II and claimed that what was on offer was not "anything like what was promised".
- "Why I cannot support the Government’s proposed Brexit deal"
- "Time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister. #overandout"
- "Lord Johnson of Marylebone"