Boris Johnson's dad sparks backlash after travelling to Greece

2 July 2020, 19:54

Stanley Johnson has travelled to Greece
Stanley Johnson has travelled to Greece. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Boris Johnson’s father has sparked an angry backlash after travelling to Greece during the coronavirus lockdown.

Stanley Johnson shared pictures on his Instagram account of him arriving in Athens on Wednesday evening to visit his mountain villa.

He also posted a picture of himself wearing a face mask, which appeared to be taken in an airport.

The 79-year-old flew via Bulgaria to bypass the Greek ban on direct flights from Britain until mid-July due to high infections, according to the Daily Mail.

He told the paper he was visiting the country 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. The Greeks are trying to stop bulk arrivals from the UK but they were quite happy to have me coming in.

“All they wanted to know was where I was coming from and what I was doing. Then I had my temperature taken and was swabbed twice.”

The trip has angered MPs, with Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone saying the incident "stinks of one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us".

Labour’s shadow minister for mental health Rosena Allin-Khan, a doctor, tweeted: “Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing – not everyone will get a holiday this year.

Labour MP Kate Osborne said: “Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules now it’s @BorisJohnson’s father. “One rule for the elite and another for everyone else it seems.

“They’re laughing directly in the face of people up and down this country. Shame.”

The former Tory MEP is the latest to come under fire for allegedly defying lockdown rules. Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minster’s chief adviser, clung onto his job after his 560-mile round trip to Durham and Barnard Castle during lockdown prompted days of calls for him to quit.

It emerged this week that Sir Peter Soulsby, the mayor of Leicester, which is the UK’s first local lockdown city, broke the rules to visit his partner, similar to Neil Ferguson, who was forced to step down as a top Government coronavirus adviser.

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The Foreign Office currently “advises British nationals against all but essential international travel” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed that the Foreign Office advice remains in place, but said: “It is for individuals to make the judgments themselves.”