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Boris Johnson's mother dies 'suddenly and peacefully' aged 79

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Boris Johnson's mother has passed away at the age of 79.

The Prime Minister's mum Charlotte Johnson Wahl was said to have died "suddenly and peacefully" at a London hospital on Monday.

Johnson has previously described her as the "supreme authority" in his family, according to The Mirror.

Speaking at the 2019 Conservative Party conference, he told grassroots Tory activists that his mother had taught him to believe in "the equal importance, the equal dignity, the equal worth of every human being on the planet".

Mrs Johnson-Wahl was married to the PM's father, 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' star Stanley, from 1963 to 1979, when they divorced.

Boris Johnson with his mother in 2014 (Image: Getty Images)

During their 16-year marriage, she suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital where she remained for nine months.

She was mother to four Johnson children: PM Boris, former Universities Minister Jo, journalist Rachel and environmental campaigner Leo.

She married the American professor Nicholas Wahl in 1988 and moved to New York.

Mrs Johnson-Wahl was an acclaimed portrait artist despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease aged just 40.

Her subjects included author Jilly Cooper and Absolute Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley.

Mrs Johnson-Wahl told The Telegraph in 2015: "My older sister was terribly clever, as was my younger brother.

"My parents didn't know what to do with me so they gave me some paints and I turned out to be good at it. Once I started I couldn't stop."

She went on: "When I paint people I am trying to capture what is unique about them, what makes them and nobody else.

"Once you've found that you're well on the way."

The paper reported how she recalled deciding to give her eldest child his now famous name.

"When I was three months pregnant, we travelled to Mexico City by Greyhound bus," she said.

"It was very uncomfortable, I was desperately sick.

"We stayed with a man called Boris Litwin, who drew me aside and said, 'You can't travel back like this, here are two first-class air tickets'.

"I was so grateful, I said, 'Whatever the baby is, I shall call it Boris'."

But she later changed her mind and called him Alexander Boris de Pfeffel.

"At Eton, his friends discovered his foreign name and everyone started calling him Boris - even the beaks [teachers]," she recalled.

"But everyone who's known him since childhood calls him Alexander.

"If I were to call him Boris it would mean something was really serious."

The PM's siblings all call him "Al" in private.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was among the first politicians to offer his condolences.

"I'm very sorry to learn of the Prime Minister's loss. My condolences to him and his family," he tweeted.

Tory MP Conor Burns said: "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."

Fellow Conservative Angela Richardson added: "Sad news for the PM tonight as well as the rest of the Johnson family. Thoughts with them all."

Conservative Party co-chairman Amanda Milling tweeted: "Thinking of Boris Johnson and his family this evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

No10 declined to comment.

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