Boris Johnson's father defends application for French citizenship, saying PM should be 'jolly pleased'

Ellen Manning
·2 min read
Stanley Johnson attends the Good Morning Britain 1 Million Minutes Awards at Television Centre in London. (Photo by James Warren / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson has applied for French citizenship. (Getty)

Boris Johnson’s father has defended his application for French citizenship, saying the Prime Minister should be “jolly pleased” with the decision.

Stanley Johnson described his application as “bridge building” and said his son should also appreciate the “sentimental and symbolic” gesture to his grandmother.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Johnson said: “I’m rather pleased with the notion, I like the idea.

“My thought is that at this moment we certainly don’t need to be anti-European.

“This is a little, tiny gesture by me to build the bridge, faire le pont, I think you might say.”

Watch: Boris Johnson’s dad wants to be French

The PM’s father’s move comes after Britain officially left the EU on New Year’s Day, with changes to trading rules accompanying the departure from Europe.

Authorities have reportedly seen a rise in the number of people applying for passports and citizenship in other European countries in order to get round some of the new rules.

Read more

The Tier 4 COVID lockdown rules explained

The Tier 3 COVID lockdown rules explained

The Tier 2 COVID lockdown rules explained

But Stanley Johnson defended his own decision to apply for French citizenship, saying: “I think (Boris Johnson) should be jolly pleased.

“His middle name… is after my French grandmother. As a matter of fact I think he’s lived most of his life as an American.

“He’s perfectly aware of this… it’s a nice idea.”

It’s not the first time the Prime Minister’s father has hit the headlines.

Earlier in the coronavirus crisis, he faced criticism after flying to Greece during lockdown, despite Foreign Office guidance saying Brits shouldn’t go abroad unless it was for essential travel.

He also admitted that he “slipped up” after being photographed again breaching rules on wearing masks at a London Underground station.

At the time, he insisted he was unaware that rules also applied when standing on the platform.

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown