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Polemics & Exchanges

Boris at Home

I enjoyed Emma Elliott Freire’s very thorough chronology of the life and times of London Mayor Boris Johnson (“The Exceptional Rise of Boris Johnson,” News, December).  May I offer just two brief additional points, including a mild correction?  Mrs. Freire writes, “Only MPs are eligible to become prime minister.”  Such has certainly been the convention in the 51 years since Harold Macmillan abruptly resigned office in favor of his colleague the 14th Earl of Home, who went on to become plain Sir Alec Douglas-Home.  But in fact even today the generally agreed requirement is only that the prime minister should “command the confidence of the House of Commons,” rather than necessarily sit in it.  Second, Mrs. Freire omits to mention that Mayor Johnson was born in New York City, and to this day (various press reports notwithstanding) retains his dual U.K.-U.S. citizenship.  The mayor would certainly have to spend more time on our shores to meet the mandatory residency requirement, but otherwise would seem eminently well qualified for a future bid for elected office here.  President Boris in the year 2036, anyone?

        —Christopher Sandford
Seattle, WA

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