Rachel Johnson, the PM’s sister, has been criticized for suggesting on her LBC radio show that Vladimir Putin’s “carving up” of Ukraine may be the “only way” to end the conflict.
“I think it’s fine and fair enough – fair is obviously a silly way of saying it as nothing is fair in this war – for Putin to claim and keep Donetsk and Luhansk, the Donbass, and allow Ukraine to get on with life , I could live with that,” she said.
“But,” she continued, “I don’t think Ukraine will do that [and] I think we will have enormous problems there and it will be a long and frozen war.”
Johnson’s inflammatory comments on Sunday were met with huge backlash, with some listeners condemning LBC for airing the segment. “What qualifications does any member of this absurd family have on this subject?” asked journalist and writer Tim Walker on twitter.
career as a journalist
Johnson, 56, joined the popular phone radio station in April 2020, presenting an hour-long program on Friday nights. When her appointment was announced, LBC Editor-in-Chief Tom Cheal described her as a “first class presenter and journalist” although she was accused of only getting the role because of her brother Boris.
But Johnson has actually had a long career as a journalist. She began working at the Financial Times in 1989, where she was the newspaper’s first female intern to write about business.
Since then she has worked for publications such as The Sunday and Daily Telegraphs, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Big Issue, The Spectator and The Lady Magazine, which she edited for three years.
In 2018, amid an editorial reshuffle, she was fired as the Mail on Sunday’s star columnist, despite recently winning a one-year contract extension. Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre had criticized her column, saying her writing “gave a bad rap on banality,” she reported The guard. That same year she was nominated for Columnist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Johnson is as ubiquitous on the small screen as he is in print, with appearances Do I have news for you?, question time and Sky News, where she once stripped naked as part of a stunt to get people talking about Brexit. “We wouldn’t reveal to the public that I’m wearing a beige bralet thingy but would let the public think I went brextits,” she later wrote for The new European.
In 2018 she followed her father, Stanley Johnsoninto the world of reality TV, appears in the 21st series of Celebrity Big Brother.
“I think I was the only roommate (out of 276 total) that performed Celebrity Big Brother who actually had a famous big brother,” she wrote in an article for The timesHe described the experience as “a never-ending house party put together by a sadistic psychopath.”
price for bad sex
Since 2004, Johnson has written several books including the novels Not Hell – described by Jilly Cooper as “quiveringly brilliant” – and its sequel, Shire hellwhich received the Bad Sex in Fiction Award in 2008.
“I’ve always wanted to win a literary prize, and to bag this coveted prize – a prize that has been won by admired giants like Norman Mailer, Sebastian Faulks and Tom Wolfe – is a great honor, at least for me,” she said at the time.
incursion into politics
Johnson is known to have supported Remain in the Brexit Referendum 2016. In her memories Rake’s Progress: My Political Midlife Crisispublished in 2020, she claimed she tried to persuade her brother to support then-Prime Minister David Cameron and not advocate leaving the EU.
“I felt like he had put himself on the wrong side, possibly not for entirely selfless reasons. But his rat-like nose for power – and channeling the instincts of the British people – could never be doubted,” she wrote.
With Brexit in mind, Johnson made her first foray into politics in 2019, running for the European Parliament Change UKthe beleaguered pro-Remain party founded by disaffected Labor and Tory MPs.
“I heard the screams of my unborn grandchildren. ‘What were YOU doing during Brexit, Granny, when that man Farage was trying to take the country back to the 1930s?’” she wrote in her book, explaining her decision to run.
But in the May 2019 European elections, Change UK failed to win a single seat and was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of seats from the Liberal Democrats – the party Johnson joined in 2017 in protest at Tory support for Brexit.
In 2020, she tweeted that she was “such an unsuccessful politician that people joked that if I had joined the Brexit Party instead, we would never have left the EU”.
husband and children
Johnson is married to Ivo Dawnay, a former National Trust communications director and now a freelance journalist, communications director and policy researcher. He told that evening standard 2013 that there is “hardly an aspect” of his life that has not already been extensively covered by his wife’s “forensic journalism”.
The couple have three children, Ludo, Charlotte and Oliver, and live in a house in Notting Hill, west London Johnson has described than having “Tory energy” and being “Le Creuset Everything”.
In January of this year, Dawnay took on Boris Johnson on twitterHe described his brother-in-law as “like Samson in the temple, determined to tear everything down before he leaves, like a tot with a tantrum.”
As Christopher Hope asked in The Telegraph“With a family like that, who needs enemies?”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/politics/956240/rachel-johnson-profile Rachel Johnson: From Celebrity Big Brother to LBC