Stanley Johnson calls for the government to secure airbridges to Greece
PUBLISHED: 09:52 05 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 05 July 2020
The prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, has defended his decision to travel to Greece – and called for the government to secure airbridges to the country.
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The 79-year-old said he was visiting on “essential business” because he needed to “Covid-proof my property” ahead of the letting season.
Asked about social media posts, Johnson senior told reporters: “I didn’t put them up… in a spirit of defiance, or anything like that.”
Referring to his residence in Greece, Johnson he said: “I came here to have a quiet time, to organise the house.
“I think I’m going to go back on July 10. So, I have just got one week to get everything organised. Got a whole lot of instructions about how to make the place Covid proof.”
Asked if he had put his son, the prime minister, in a difficult position by travelling to Greece, Johnson senior said: “I have read his answers and he is absolutely right to say… that, you know what… and I think… I am not going to talk about private conversations between family members… and, I am absolutely not going to talk about that.”
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Referring to airbridges between the UK and other countries, the PM’s father said: “Let’s open this airbridge as quick as we can. People are longing to get here and this is a country which has everything.”
He added: “I am not going to say whether my actions were correct or not, but in any case what happened, happened.
“How wonderful it would be if, quite quickly, if the two governments could come to some arrangement?”
Boris Johnson has refused to condemn his father for flying to Greece in apparent breach of Foreign Office guidance to avoid non-essential travel.
This was after Johnson senior was widely criticised after reportedly travelling via Bulgaria – in order to avoid the ban on direct flights from the UK – to visit his Greek villa.
During an LBC radio phone-in, the prime minister repeatedly refused to say whether he was “disappointed” with his father’s actions.
“I think you really ought to raise that with him. I am not going to get into details of family conversations,” he said.
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