Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson, is facing accusations of inappropriately touching two women.
The first allegations against former MEP Johnson came from senior Conservative MP Caroline Nokes during a cross-party panel discussion, in which four prominent female MPs discussed how to tackle violence against women.
Nokes, a former minister and chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, claimed her experience with Johnson took place at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool in 2003, when she was a prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Romsey and Southampton North.
At the panel, hosted by Sky News, Nokes said she’d had ‘male MPs stick their hands on my backside in Strangers’ Bar (in Parliament)’, and claimed she remembered ‘a really prominent man – at the time the Conservative candidate for Teignbridge in Devon – smacking me on the backside about as hard as he could and going, ‘oh, Romsey, you’ve got a lovely seat’.’
The candidate was Johnson, who in 2005 failed to get elected as an MP.
Nokes said she ‘would have been in [her] early 30s’ at the time, pointing out she was ‘old enough to call it out’.
Looking back on the alleged inappropriate touching, Nokes said:
I now regard it as a duty, an absolute duty, to call out wherever you see it. Be the noisy, aggravating, aggressive woman in the room because if I’m not prepared to do that, then my daughter won’t be prepared to do that… you do get to a point where you go ‘up with this, I will not put’.
In response to Nokes’ allegations, Johnson told Sky News: ‘I have no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all – but there you go. And no reply… Hey ho, good luck and thanks.’
After Nokes’ claims were posted online, Ailbhe Rea, a journalist for the New Statesman, shared the story on Twitter alongside her own accusations about the prime minister’s father, alleging: ‘Stanley Johnson also groped me at a party at Conservative conference in 2019.’
She added: ‘I am grateful to Caroline Nokes for calling out something that none of us should have to put up with, not least from the Prime Minister’s father.’
Rea was met with messages of support from her followers, with Twitter users praising both her and Nokes for sharing their stories.
Johnson served as a Conservative member of the European Parliament between 1979 and 1984 before losing his 2005 campaign.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
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