Boris Johnson, Britain’s colorful and blustery foreign secretary, who is perhaps best known for his leading role in campaigning for his country’s departure from the European Union, has given up his American citizenship, a United States Treasury Department list showed Wednesday.
Born in New York, Mr. Johnson, 52, held dual citizenship until last year. He had long complained about having to pay taxes in the United States even though he was 5 when he last lived there. Unlike most countries, the United States taxes nationals who live abroad on their worldwide income.
According to British news reports, as recently as 2015, he settled a hefty capital gains tax bill on the sale of his north London home — after claiming that he wouldn’t pay.
In an interview with National Public Radio in 2014, he described the "doctrine of global taxation” applied by the United States as "incredible.”
With a disheveled shock of blond hair, sharp wit and clipped accent, Mr. Johnson sometimes seems like a caricature of the private-school-educated Briton. Although he did indeed graduate from Eton and Oxford, he has Turkish and Russian ancestors, and his early education took place in Brussels. He was appointed foreign secretary last summer after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum.
Mr. Johnson, a Conservative, has not been known for his diplomatic skills. His relations with Donald J. Trump took a blow in December 2015, when he accused Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, of being "out of his mind” and of "a quite stupefying ignorance” that made him unfit for the presidency
After Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Johnson swiftly changed course, suggesting in November that "there’s a lot to be positive about.” He added, "It’s very important not to prejudge the president-elect or his administration.”
As mayor of London, Mr. Johnson cultivated the image of an endearing bumbler and came across like a comedian. But underneath that image was a quick mind with a shrewd political acumen. It was during his tenure that London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.
He has known former Prime Minister David Cameron since they were schoolboys, and many were surprised that he swung behind the so-called Brexit campaign, opposing Mr. Cameron.
Mr. Johnson’s name appeared on a Treasury Department list of 5,411 people who gave up their American citizenship in 2016. As The Wall Street Journal reported, he is listed as Alexander Boris Johnson, a shortened version of his full birth name, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.