PM's dad Stanley Johnson accused of defying lockdown rules to fly to Greece

Ellen Manning
·3-min read
Stanley Johnson said he visited Greece for essential travel. (Getty)
Stanley Johnson said he visited Greece for essential travel. (Getty)

Boris Johnson’s father has face criticism after flying to Greece during the coronavirus lockdown, despite current Foreign Office guidance saying Brits shouldn’t go abroad unless it’s for essential travel.

Stanley Johnson shared several pictures on his Instagram account of him flying to Athens, including a picture of himself wearing a face mask.

The PM’s father told the Daily Mail that he was on “essential business” trying to “Covid-proof” his property ahead of the upcoming letting season.

Stanley Johnson shared pictures from his flight to Athens, despite government guidance saying people shouldn't travel abroad. (Instagram/Stanley Johnson)
Stanley Johnson shared pictures from his flight to Athens, despite government guidance saying people shouldn't travel abroad. (Instagram/Stanley Johnson)

The move sparked a barrage of criticism from Labour politicians.

Shadow minister Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted: “Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing – not everyone will get a holiday this year.

“Those closest to the Prime Minister have different rules though.”

Labour MP Kate Osborne said his journey shows there is “one rule for the elite and another for everyone else”.

Labour’s Neil Coyle tweeted: “Junior Johnson axes freedom of movement, undermining rights for 60 million Brits.

“Senior Johnson sneaks to his Greek villa during a global pandemic.”

Stanley Johnson attends the Good Morning Britain 1 Million Minutes Awards at Television Centre in London. (Photo by James Warren / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Stanley Johnson said he flew to Greece to "COVID-proof" a rental property he owns. (SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

According to The Daily Mail, the PM’s father had to fly to Greece via Bulgaria because the Greek government has banned direct flights from the UK until mid-July.

The 79-year-old told the Mail: “I'm in Pelion on essential business trying to COVID-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season. I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they're taking it very seriously here.”

If he returns to the UK, he will be expected to have to undergo 14 days of quarantine.

It’s not the first time the PM’s father has appeared to go against the government’s guidelines.

In March he said he would be ignoring his son’s advice to people to stay away from pubs to limit the spread of coronavirus, saying: “Of course I’ll go to a pub if I need to go to a pub.”

The issue was batted away by Jacob Rees-Mogg in the House of Commons on Tuesday after Scottish Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael said the PM should be asked to explain why his own father apparently “jetted off in defiance of the guidance to Greece”, adding: “We would all welcome an explanation.”

Rees-Mogg responded: “It says somewhere in the Bible the sins of the father will be visited on the sons. But I don't remember it ever being the other way round. The honourable gentleman is really fishing desperately to try and make any criticism of the prime minister.”

Earlier this week, it was reported that Greece had extended its ban on flights from the UK until 15 July.

Yahoo News UK has contacted Stanley Johnson’s management and No 10 Downing Street for comment.

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