Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and wife to divorce - PA

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35% of members picked the former foreign secretary as their favourite to take the helm of the party next.

The former foreign secretary is now going through the process of divorce with Marina Wheeler, who he married 25 years ago. They made the announcement in a joint statement after the tabloid press splashed stories of them living separate lives.

Despite the impending divorce process, speculation still remains as to whether the former foreign secretary is vying for the top job in Government. "We will not be commenting further", the statement said.

Mr Johnson was a childhood friend of Ms Wheeler - the daughter of BBC journalist Charles Wheeler - when they were both pupils at the European School in Brussels.

Boris and Marina, who have been married for 25 years, were regular visitors to Horsham when her parents lived in Warnham.

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Wheeler, who qualified as a QC in 2016, was photographed in July moving belongings out of Johnson's grace and favour home in Carlton Gardens, central London.

He said: "It is 2018, we are not in the Fifties now, so things move on and people make judgments about people".

Johnson is known for his affairs in the past, including fathering a child with a former art consultant lover.

The Tory MP and former London Mayor Wednesday first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen in 1987 after they met at Oxford, but split when he had an affair with Marina. "They are able to distinguish between personal lives and their public lives".

Commentators are speculating that the news may have an adverse affect on Mr Johnson's aspirations to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.