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Boris Johnson, who is expected to resign as the United Kingdom prime minister today, rode his luck throughout his career. Despite a succession of setbacks and scandals – that would have sunk other politicians – since he was sworn in as the UK PM, Boris Johnson always managed to bounce back.

But the luck of a man once likened to a "greased piglet" for his ability to escape controversies finally ran out, after an avalanche of high-profile resignations from his scandal-hit government.

It began with the resignation of Rishi Sunak as finance minister and Sajid Javid's departure as health secretary, weakening the under-pressure prime minister just when he needed his allies the most.

After ministers, including two secretaries of state, continued to quit the government early on Thursday, an isolated and powerless Johnson was set to bow to the inevitable and declare he was stepping down later, a source said.

Boris Johnson's expected departure on Thursday -- after a tidal wave of resignations from his top team -- comes just three years after he took over from Theresa May in an internal Conservative leadership contest.

Boris Johnson called a snap general election that December, winning the biggest Tory parliamentary majority since the heyday of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Click here to check the procedure for selecting Johnson's replacement

That allowed him to unblock years of political paralysis after the 2016 Brexit vote, to take Britain out of the European Union in January 2020.

But he has faced criticism since. From how he handled the coronavirus pandemic to allegations of corruption, cronyism, double standards and duplicity.

As the scandals and controversies rose, some drew parallels between his governing style and his chaotic private life of three marriages, at least seven children and the rumours of a host of affairs.

‘THE CLOSER YOU GET TO HIM, THE LESS YOU LIKE HIM’

Sonia Purnell, Boris Johnson's former Daily Telegraph colleague, suggested that Rishi Sunak and Javid Sajid may have realised what she and others have before them.

"The closer you get to him, the less you like him, and the less you can trust him," she told Sky News, adding, "He really does let everyone down, at every point he really does mislead you."

'CAVALIER ATTITUDE'

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had a conventional rise to power for a Conservative politician: first the elite Eton College, then Oxford University.

At Eton, his teachers expressed discontent over his "cavalier attitude" to his studies and the sense he gave that he should be treated as "an exception".

Boris Johnson's apparent attitude that rules were for other people was amply demonstrated in 2006 when he inexplicably rugby tackled an opponent in a charity game of football.

After Oxford, he married his first wife -- fellow student Allegra Mostyn-Owen -- despite her mother's misgivings.

"I didn't like the fact he was on the right," Gaia Servadio, who died last year, was quoted as saying by Johnson's biographer Tom Bower.

"But above all, I didn't like his character. For him, the truth doesn't exist."

When he worked at The Times newspaper, he was sacked after making up a quote. He later joined the Telegraph as its Brussels correspondent.

From there he fed the growing Conservative Euroscepticism of the 1990s with regular "euromyths" – exaggerated or invented stories about the European Union – about supposed EU plans for a federal mega-state threatening British sovereignty.

Exasperated rivals charged with matching his questionable exclusives described some of his tales as "complete bollocks".

OPPORTUNISM

Capitalising on his increasingly high profile from Brussels, Boris Johnson appeared in satirical television quiz show, newspaper and magazine columns.

Much of his journalism has since been requoted at length, particularly his unreconstructed views on issues from single mothers and homosexuality to British colonialism.

He became an MP in 2004. During this time, Tory leader at the time, Michael Howard, sacked him from his shadow cabinet for lying about an extra-marital affair.

From 2008 to 2016, he served two terms as mayor of London. While he promoted himself as a pro-EU liberal, Boris Johnson abandoned this stance soon as the Brexit referendum came about.

His former editor at the Telegraph, Max Hastings, wrote in The Times that the prime minister had "broken every rule of decency, and made no attempt to pursue a coherent policy agenda beyond Brexit".

But he was "the same moral bankrupt as when the Conservative party chose him, as shambolic in his conduct of office as in his management of his life", adding, “We now need a prime minister who will restore dignity and self-respect to the country and its governance."

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