Boris Johnson Wants Everyone to Address His Father as 'Sir'

Opposition leaders consider the knighthood nomination a mockery
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2023 4:16 PM CST
Boris Johnson Wants His Father Knighted. Not Everyone Does
Stanley Johnson walks past the Houses of Parliament in London in October.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has nominated about 100 people for UK honors, but one name in particular drew attention. The ex-leader of the Conservative Party has put up Stanley Johnson, his father, for a knighthood, the Times reports. The news was not met with universal praise. "You only need to say it to realize just how ridiculous it is," Labor leader Keir Starmer said on a radio show, per Sky News, adding, "The idea of an ex-prime minister bestowing honors on his dad—for services to what?" Boris Johnson, who was forced from office last year, and his aides did not comment on the issue, but his sister did.

Rachel Johnson said on a podcast that her father had "done much more for the Tory party and the environment than dozens of people who have been given gongs to at this point," though she said she's not a fan of the honors system. In fact, the broadcaster said, per Politico Europe, if it were up to her, "there wouldn't be a House of Lords either." Johnson offered the nomination under the rules for resignation honors, which permit the outgoing prime minister to recommend people for knighthoods, damehoods, seats in the unelected House of Lords, and other titles.

A Liberal lawmaker, Wendy Chamberlain, asked the current prime minister to veto Johnson's complete list, saying choosing his father "makes a mockery" of the honor system. A spokesman said that Johnson followed the rules and that Rishi Sunak doesn't plan to intervene, per the Guardian. In 2021, Stanley Johnson was accused of inappropriate touching by a lawmaker and a journalist, and a biography accused him of violence against his wife, Charlotte. The nominations must clear "probity and propriety checks" by the Cabinet Office. (More Boris Johnson stories.)

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