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Mon, 3 August 2020

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Coronavirus
By Dods Monitoring
Coronavirus
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Boris Johnson refuses to condemn dad Stanley over lockdown trip to Greece to 'Covid-proof rental property'

Boris Johnson refuses to condemn dad Stanley over lockdown trip to Greece to 'Covid-proof rental property'

Boris Johnson said he would not discuss ‘family conversations’ as he was quizzed on LBC radio. (Image: PA)

3 min read

Boris Johnson has refused to condemn his father Stanley for making a lockdown trip to Greece.

The Prime Minister said he would not “get into details” of his family life after his dad shared a pictures of himself on Instagram arriving in Athens, despite the Foreign Office advising against “all-but essential travel” at the time of the trip.

The elder Mr Johnson — a former Tory MEP — told the Daily Mail he was in Greece to visit his mountain villa, saying authorities there had been “quite happy to have me coming in”.

And he said: '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.”

But the trip has drawn condemnation from some MPs, with Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael saying the Prime Minister’s father appeared to have “jetted off in defiance of the guidance to Greece”.

The PM was grilled over the trip by LBC’s Nick Ferrari during a public phone-in on Friday, but he told the broadcaster: “I think you really ought to raise that with him.

“I’m not going to get into details of family conversations.”

Asked if he was disappointed in his dad’s behaviour, Mr Johnson said: “I’m very, very pleased that the overwhelming majority of the British population...”

Interjecting, Mr Ferrari asked Mr Johnson if he would give any form of comment on his father’s trip. 

The PM replied: “No.”

And he added: “The overwhelming majority of the British population have understood what needs to be done and have been very prudent and that is the right thing to do.”

His comments came after Mr Johnson faced questions from a member of the public whose mother died during lockdown about the conduct of the PM’s top adviser Dominic Cummings.

Mr Cummings was at the centre of a political storm last month after it emerged that he had travelled to Durham at the height of the curbs to seek help with childcare.

Asked by caller Gurvinder whether the trip show those making the rules on coronavirus restrictions “don't really care about them”, the PM replied: “I think as I said many times in that particular case that you mentioned, the Durham Police did say that there was no action that they wanted to take.

“Though I really do understand people's feelings about that.”

And he said: “I thank you for the way you've observed the rules I really, really do. And I'm so sorry about your loss of your mum. 

“What I would say is that most people in this country are showing huge forbearance and sacrifice, the overwhelming majority. 

“And I think people do understand that this is something we need to do together, and they have done it.

“I think people want to stick together and get through it, and my message is that the government is really very much on people's side.”

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