Boris Johnson’s mother,artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl dies “suddenly and peacefully”
at a London hospital, according to a death notice issued by the family in The Times.
She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 40.
Boris Johnson is said to have called his mother, a professional artist who painted
stars such as Joanna Lumley, the ‘supreme authority in his family.
The Prime Minister also previously credited her with instilling in him ‘the equal value
of every human life.
But, despite raising two sons who became Conservative politicians, along with
journalist Rachel and entrepreneur Leo, Mrs. Johnson Wahl said she herself had
grown-up around ‘rich socialists’.
And in a candid 2015 interview with the Radio Times, she admitted that she had
‘never voted Tory’
After news broke of Mrs Johnson Wahl’s death last night, messages of support flooded
in for the Prime Minister, including from opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Writing in a Twitter post, the Labour leader said : ‘I’m very sorry to learn of the Prime
Minister’s loss. My condolences to him and his family.’
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell also sent his regards, writing in Tweet: ‘Deeply sad to hear
of the passing of the Prime Minister’s mother. My thoughts and prayers are with Boris
Johnson at this sorrowful time.’
And Connor Burns, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Canada, also shared his
condolences, writing in a Tweet: ‘So sad to hear of the death of Boris Johnson’s Mum.
‘Thoughts and prayers are with him and the whole of the Johnson clan.’
Conservative Party co-chairman Amanda Milling added: ‘Thinking of Boris Johnson
and his family this evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.’
Born Charlotte Fawcett in Oxford in 1942, Mrs Johnson-Wahl was the daughter of the
barrister Sir James Fawcett – who was president of the European Commission for
Human Rights in the 1970s.
One of five children, she studied English at Oxford University. But she interrupted her
education to travel to America with Stanley Johnson, whom she met at Oxford and
married in 1963.
Speaking about meeting Stanley, she told Tatler magazine in 2015: ‘I was engaged to
somebody called Wynford Hicks, who was extraordinarily beautiful to look at but
actually quite boring.
‘Anyway, [after the dinner] Stanley sent me a note asking if he could come to tea and
go for a walk.
‘So a few days later we went for a walk and he suddenly said, ‘Love is sweet. Revenge
is sweeter far. To the Piazza. Ah ha ha har!”, which made me laugh so much I fell in
love with him.
She returned to complete her degree as the first married female undergraduate at her
college, Lady Margaret Hall.
Mrs Johnson Wahl turned to art and painted a variety of subjects, primarily portraits.
She is said to have completed more than 2,000 pieces in her career and was the
subject of an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London in 2015.
Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley, former Evening Standard editor Simon
Jenkins and author Jilly Cooper were among those whose portraits she painted.
Along with Boris Johnson, she was also the mother of former Conservative MP Jo
Johnson, journalist Rachel Johnson, and entrepreneur Leo Johnson.
The Prime Minister’s son Wilfred was her 13th grandchild.