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Row as UK’s Boris Johnson touts father for ‘knighthood’

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson has put his father Stanley forward for a knighthood, according to a report on Monday slammed by the Labour opposition as “outrageous”.

The Times newspaper reported that the former Conservative leader, who left office last September, had nominated Stanley as part of his resignation honours list. 

The list reportedly includes the nominations of several allies for membership of the House of Lords, where Boris Johnson appointed his younger brother Jo in 2020.

“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,” Labour leader Keir Starmer said on LBC Radio.

“It’s classic of a man like Johnson. I mean, I think the public will just think this is absolutely outrageous,” he said, also querying what Stanley Johnson had done to deserve a knighthood.

The reported list poses a political headache for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who must sign off on his predecessor’s controversial choices and is trying to keep Johnson loyalists on side.

Sunak’s spokesman said the report was “speculative”, while stressing: “Longstanding rules guard the honours process and there are no plans to change that.”

Asked if she would have a problem with the appointment, senior minister Michelle Donelan told LBC: “I think there are bigger fish to fry, to be honest.”

Stanley Johnson would be a controversial pick also because of accusations of sexual harassment against two women, and domestic abuse against his former wife — Boris’s mother.

Johnson senior has denied any wrongdoing.

A former member of the European Parliament, the father voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, when his son led the campaign to leave. 

But Stanley Johnson has since expressed support for Brexit, and was accused of hypocrisy after securing French nationality last year.

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