Another fine mess, Stanley
It was the thought of “like father, like son” that entered when the news came overnight that the father of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had been accused of being what That Tory Spreadsheet might have termed “very inappropriate with women”. Stanley Johnson, presented by our media class as some kind of lovable old eccentric, has been, so it is alleged, drinking more than occasionally in The Groper’s Arms.
As Beth Rigby at Sky News has told, “Caroline Nokes, a former minister and chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, says the prime minister's father behaved inappropriately towards her at the Conservative Party Conference in 2003 … Ms Nokes, who has represented Romsey and Southampton North in the Commons since 2010, was at the time the prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency”. There was more.
“She told Sky News, ‘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”’. The candidate was Stanley Johnson, who later failed to get elected”. Probably as well.
Because Ms Nokes’ allegation is not the only one against Johnson Père: Alibhe Rea of the Staggers has added “Stanley Johnson also groped me at a party at Conservative conference in 2019”. Worse, we already know that Stan The Less Than Man has what may be termed significant previous, having been exposed as a domestic abuser who broke his wife’s nose during one of what appear to have been a whole series of physical attacks.
The reaction of Young Labour chair Jess Barnard echoed that of many others: “Stanley Johnson is a creep and domestic abuser who, despite this being well known, has repeatedly been portrayed as a harmless loveable fool by the press and given multiple platforms across our media. Tired of this happening time and time again”.
Including Have I Got News For You, the same platform that did so much to popularise his son. Ash Sarkar suggested that behaviour could, and should, have been called out rather earlier: “As allegations about Stanley Johnson groping women pour out, I’m once again furious that it takes victims disclosing in the most public way possible for anyone to take the ‘open secret’ of someone’s creepy behaviour seriously”. And then came Bozo.
Because, yes, like father, like son, he also faced those accusations. And when claims were made that he had groped journalist Charlotte Edwardes, guess what? “Nicky Morgan, the culture secretary and former minister for women, gave her wholehearted backing to the prime minister, saying there is ‘no truth in these allegations’, while housing minister, Esther McVey, suggested journalists needed to go back and check it really happened”.
The grotesque sight of Tory ministers covering up for a sex pest, allied to the media class treating two such pests like amiable buffoons. This needs calling out - not covering up.
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