Stanley Johnson, an obscure ex-lawmaker who became a national celebrity on account of being British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father, has breezily dismissed a claim that he smacked a member of parliament “about as hard as he could” on her backside back in 2003.
Johnson served as a Member of the European Parliament in the 1980s, then went on to become a c-list celeb as his son, Boris, rose to prominence as Britain’s most recognizable politician in the 2000s. In recent years he’s played up his posh persona with repeat appearances on trashy reality TV including jungle-based I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
He now faces two public allegations of inappropriate touching.
The first came from a member of the British parliament for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, Caroline Nokes, who told Sky News on Monday that Stanley Johnson had smacked her “on the backside about as hard as he could” at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in 2003.
Nokes, who represents Romsey in the south of England, recalled: “I can remember 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.’”
Nokes added: “I would have been in my early 30s, so old enough to call it out… 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.’”
Asked who it was, she replied: “Stanley Johnson did that to me.”
After Nokes made her allegation, Johnson, who ultimately failed in his attempt to become the member of parliament for Teignbridge in 2005, responded to Sky News: “I have no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all—but there you go. And no reply… Hey ho, good luck and thanks.”
However, Nokes’s allegation was quickly followed up by a second when a political correspondent for British political magazine The New Statesman, Ailbhe Rea, alleged that Johnson groped her at a much more recent Conservative Party conference.
Sharing Nokes’s allegation, Rea wrote on Twitter Monday night: “Stanley Johnson also groped me at a party at Conservative conference in 2019. 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.”
Johnson is yet to comment on Rea’s allegation.
Asked about the two allegations, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said on Tuesday: “I’m not going to be drawn into specific allegations against a private individual... Of course we would want anyone, in any circumstance, who feels they have been a victim of any kind of harassment to be free to come forward and report them to the appropriate authorities.”
In 2019, a journalist came forward to claim that Boris Johnson had inappropriately touched her—squeezing her inner thigh—during an office dinner some years before. No. 10 denied the allegation.