Johnson was born in New York City to upper-middle class British parents, and was educated at Eton College, then at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Classics and was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986. He began his career in journalism at The Times newspaper but was dismissed for falsifying a quotation. He later became the Brussels correspondent for The Daily Telegraph newspaper and his articles exerted a strong influence on growing Eurosceptic sentiment on the British right. He was promoted to an assistant editor from 1994 to 1999, and edited The Spectator magazine from 1999 to 2005. He was elected MP for Henley in 2001, and served as a Junior Shadow Minister under Conservative leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron. He largely adhered to the Conservatives' party line but adopted a socially liberal stance on issues such as LGBT rights in parliamentary votes. He resigned as an MP and in 2008 was elected Mayor of London being re-elected in 2012. During his mayoralty he oversaw the 2012 Summer Olympics, introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable car and banned alcohol consumption on much of London's public transport.