The prime minister’s father has said his application for French citizenship was a “sentimental gesture” to his mother and said Boris Johnson should be “jolly pleased” about it.
Stanley Johnson revealed he was applying for a French passport in December, soon after the Brexit deal negotiated by his son was approved by MPs.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Johnson senior said his son was “perfectly aware” of his application.
“My mother was French, her mother was French, my grandfather was French and I thought to myself ‘what is a kind of sentimental, symbolic gesture to my mother,'” said Johnson.
“I’m rather pleased with the notion, I like the idea. My thought is that at this moment we certainly don’t need to be anti-European.
“This is a little, tiny gesture by me to build the bridge… faire le pont, I think you might say.”
Asked what the prime minister thought, Johnson said: “I think (Boris Johnson) should be jolly pleased. His middle name… is after my French grandmother. As a matter of fact, I think he’s lived most of his life as an American.
“He’s perfectly aware of this… it’s a nice idea.”
Asked how he felt about Johnson’s handling of the virus, Johnson senior said his son’s response resembled that of Winston Churchill’s during the early phases of World War II.
“He comes in with a (Commons) majority and – bang, bang, bang, bang bang, it reminds me a bit of Churchill in May 1940… I would say he is coming through this in fine style.
“Perhaps in the nick of time, this country did get itself together, did get the vaccine back, and I’m starting to sound like Gavin Williamson now, but we were ahead of other countries here and I think we are in a very good position to come out of this crisis.”
Venting disapproval on Twitter, one user said: “Privileged b*****d telling the commoners that he is building bridges for us.. the same bridges his son burnt to the ground.”
Another called it “hypocrisy” while @swiffyc said: “Like son like father, he obviously thinks we are stupid.”