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06 March 2023

Boris Johnson's 'bid' to bestow knighthood on his father sparks outrage

06 March 2023

It would be “outrageous” for Stanley Johnson to be given a knighthood as part of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said.

The former prime minister, who was forced out of Downing Street last September following a series of scandals, reportedly included his father as one of as many as 100 names put forward for honours.

Sir Keir said: “The idea of an ex-prime minister bestowing honours on his dad – for services to what?”

He told LBC Radio: “The idea that Boris Johnson is nominating his dad for a knighthood – you only need to say it to realise just how ridiculous it is.

“It’s classic of a man like Johnson. I mean, I think the public will just think this is absolutely outrageous.”

But Cabinet minister Michelle Donelan said there are “bigger fish to fry” as she played down the row.

The Science Secretary told LBC: “I think at this stage it is just speculation.

“Obviously, it’s the ex-prime minister’s prerogative to be able to make those types of appointments, but we’ll see if this story is true or not.”

The Times newspaper reported that the former prime minister has nominated his father for the honour.

A spokesperson for the former premier said: “We don’t comment on honours.”

The PA news agency has contacted Stanley Johnson for comment.

Any honour for Stanley Johnson would raise questions for the former Conservative leader.

The former prime minister faced accusations of cronyism in 2020, after he nominated his brother Jo Johnson for a peerage.

In 2021, senior Tory MP Caroline Nokes and a journalist publicly accused Stanley Johnson, a former MEP, of touching them at Conservative party conferences.

Ms Nokes, chairwoman of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, accused Stanley Johnson of forcefully smacking her on the backside and making a vulgar comment at the Conservative Party conference in 2003.

Stanley Johnson said after that he had “no recollection” of either incident.

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