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The prime minister’s father has said he would ignore his son’s advice about the coronavirus and still go to the pub.
Stanley Johnson said in a TV interview on Tuesday: “Of course I’ll go to a pub if I need to go to a pub.”
His comments came a day after his son, Boris Johnson, told the nation to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues.
The government has introduced social distancing in an effort to tackle the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
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The prime minister said the advice was particularly important for people over 70, who are set to be asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks from this weekend.
But his father, who is 79, said he would defy the official advice if he need to go for a drink.
Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, he said landlords “don’t want people to be not in the pub at all”.
His comments come as the industry voices concern that the measures could result in mass job losses and permanent pub closures.
Johnson suggested his son’s government would produce a major financial package to support businesses.
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“The big picture is we are going to get on top of this, we’re going to make sure that the National Health Services are not overwhelmed in terms of the people it has in intensive care,” he said.
“Look at what’s already happened, the fact the prime minister made the speech he made yesterday has already had the effect of emptying the streets, emptying the pubs, emptying the theatres, and yes, the government will come through with a package of measures to compensate those people – I’m sure it will – this afternoon the chancellor will say something, so I think we’re on the right track.”
He suggested the government could adopt the kind of measures announced by French president Emmanuel Macron to support citizens and businesses in response to the “mind-boggling” events.
Asked if he would go to a pub, Johnson said: “Of course I’ll go to a pub if I need to go to a pub.”
Presenter Phillip Schofield asked what his son would say in response to that comment.
Johnson said: “No, he said, you know, we should avoid going to pubs, but if I had to go to a pub I’d go to a pub.”
Asked by fellow guest Vanessa Feltz why he would “have to go” to a pub, Johnson said: “Well, because the people who run pubs need a little bit of people, don’t they?
“They don’t want people to be not in the pub at all, that’s my line.”