Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, has announced he has moved to France and become a citizen to help maintain a link to the European Union.
The senior Johnson was born in 1940 to a French mother and recently told a Belgian news site that he considered himself once again an EU member. Whilst I strongly disagree with the EU and everything it stands for, I can only stand back and applaud his decision to move overseas and continue representing Britain.
He spent a number of years in the 1970s and 80s as a part of the European Union and originally voted to remain back in 2016. He did, however, eventually come to his senses and changed his position.
Commenting on his move, Stanley Johnson stated: ‘’I’m absolutely delighted and have no idea at what level this decision was taken but I do think it was a very imaginative thing to do at this moment, at a time when relations with France and the EU are not necessarily the best.’’
The move is nothing short of genius and Johnson is merely being humble. You can tell the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as Stanley’s diplomatic nous can be found coursing through his son, Boris - a man whose two-and-a-half year reign as Prime Minister is one of the most historic in British history.
Our Prime Minister drew plaudits from me earlier this year when he visited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky despite calls from his ministers not to. That, for me, was the single greatest act of bravery I have ever seen and it confirmed my suspicion that Boris’ diplomacy skills are both underrated and unrivaled. I’m sure he learned a lot by watching his father in action and has studied him in meticulous detail.
A statement from Downing Street said the move was a ‘’personal decision’’ from Johnson and that he had spent the last six months applying for French citizenship. Stanley sarcastically stated that he could represent the European Union again - this time on the French side rather than the British.
The move has come at a cost, however, as Mr. Johnson leaves behind the greatest nation on Earth and one run by his son. I could never imagine leaving Britain, and can only assume the pain a move would cause would inspire the deepest melancholy in those who choose to leave it.
Watching Britain disappear in my rear view mirror truly is the stuff of my nightmares, but I’m proud of Stanley Johnson for gathering the courage to make, in his mind at least, the right move.
He leaves behind an island rocked by the nonsensical Partygate scandal (of which Boris is at the centre of) and gripped by an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. However, I’m sure he trusts the abilities of his son to right Britain’s wrongs and turn them back into the divine force of nature we all know it can and should be.
I consider Stanley Johnson’s move to be extremely smart. He can act as an ambassador for Britain, tell stories about his incredible son, and help turn public opinion back in Britain’s favour. When asked about what he thought of his father’s move, Boris simply quipped - ‘’magnifique’’.
As Britain starts to keep calm and carry on in the face of adversity, we can take solace in the fact that we have an incredibly skilled and experienced diplomat fighting in our corner and keeping our stellar reputation abroad.
Even at the age of 81, Stanley Johnson proves he is as sharp as ever. I have no doubt he’ll do great things in France and I’m certain he’ll do all he can to keep the outstanding Johnson legacy as strong as ever.
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