IT HAS long been the subject of dinner party gossip for friends of Boris Johnson — just how many affairs has he had? And how on earth does he do it?
Boris wed first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987 after they met at Oxford, but split when he had an affair with Marina Wheeler.
She married him in 1993, but first caught him out over his relationship with society writer Petronella Wyatt.
He had a four-year affair with “Petsy”, daughter of the late Labour grandee Lord Wyatt, while he was editor of The Spectator and she was one of his columnists.
Petronella later told how she had an abortion and suffered a miscarriage.
Boris described reports of their affair as an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.
But he was forced to quit as shadow arts minister and party vice-chairman in 2004 by then-Tory leader Michael Howard for failing to tell the whole truth about the affair.
Howard’s officials said the issue was one of “personal morality”.
Furious Marina threw him out of their home in Highgate, North London, but later took him back.
However, his affairs did not end there. Pals said the Petsy affair overlapped with his romance with Anna Fazackerley, a journalist on the Times Educational Supplement.
The pair were said to have had sex while he was a junior shadow education minister in 2005. On one occasion Boris got off a flight home from China to hook up with Ms Fazackerley in Paris.
Boris rebuilt his political career by running successfully for Mayor of London in 2008.
But his unlikely love life blew up again when he fathered a lovechild with arts consultant Helen Macintyre in 2009.
Marina chucked him out again – only to take him back once more. Full details of the affair emerged in court after Ms Macintyre lost a three-year legal battle to stop the Press naming Boris as the father of her daughter Stephanie.
Lawyers for the Daily Mail argued it was in the public interest because it “went to the issue of recklessness and whether on that account he was fit for public office”.
The Appeal Court also heard in 2013 that Ms Macintyre’s daughter was alleged to be the second child conceived as a result of Boris’s extra-marital affairs.
One ex described his romancing style as “persistent”.
She said: “He made himself so endearing and amusing. I didn’t know of his reputation and to look at him you would never imagine he was a womaniser.
“But I do recall that he became very persistent in his attentions and, you know, eventually one thing led to another.
“He relies entirely on his personality, especially his wit and that bumbling character that he’s developed and, well, it does seem to be still working, doesn’t it?
“Any sensible girl should stay away from him. You’ll get the cheery persistence, then the conquest, but when he’s bored he won’t care about you in the slightest.
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“He always goes back to Marina.”
His second wife has always put up with her husband’s philandering. One friend has said: “She sees it as a childish side of his personality which one day he’ll grow out of.”
The identity of Boris’s latest alleged mistress remains unknown. But family members have made it clear it is probably one affair too many for Marina.