PM’s father defends visit to Greece during lockdown

The Prime Minister's father, Stanley Johnson, has defended his decision to travel to Greece – and making social media posts regarding the journey.

The comments came after Boris Johnson's father posted a picture on social media of himself arriving in the country wearing a face mask.

The 79-year-old said he was visiting on "essential business" because he needed to "Covid-proof my property" ahead of the letting season.

Asked about social media posts, Mr Johnson senior told reporters on Saturday: "I didn't put them up... in a spirit of defiance, or anything like that."

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File photo dated 14/10/19 of Carrie Symonds, partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his father Stanley Johnson. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds have announced that they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Stanley Johnson, father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seen on March 04, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
File photo dated 01/10/19 of Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been criticised by MPs after flying to Greece despite Government advice urging Britons against all but essential international travel.
File photo dated 26/01/19 of Carrie Symonds, partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his father Stanley Johnson. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds have announced that they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged.
Stanley Johnson attends The Sun Military Awards 2020 at the Banqueting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
File photo dated 26/03/19 of Stanley Johnson, the father of Boris Johnson. A neighbour of Mr Johnson's father has been shot dead at her countryside cottage. The woman, named locally as 56-year-old Debbie Zurick, was gunned down on Saturday afternoon at her home in Winsford, near Minehead in Somerset, which is next to Stanley Johnson's rural estate.
Stanley Johnson at The Sun Military Awards 2020 held at the Banqueting House, London.
Stanley Johnson attends the Good Morning Britain 1 Million Minutes Awards at Television Centre in London. (Photo by James Warren / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Stanley Johnson speaks at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, during an event calling for a ban on trophy hunting imports.
Environmentalist and author, Stanley Johnson (L) and Zac Goldsmith (R), Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs attend the unveiling of 21 bronze life-sized elephants sculptured by artists, Gillie and Marc at Marble Arch in London. The sculptures are to hight the plight of the species which faces extinction by 2040. The herd of elephants will be on display for one year, until 4 December 2020. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, joins protesters in Trafalgar Square during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the Palace of Westminster, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in the House of Lords.
Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, joins protesters in Trafalgar Square during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
(second from left) Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson and Carrie Symonds (centre) watch as the Prime Minister delivers his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
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Referring to his residence in Greece, Mr Johnson told reporters: "I came here to have a quiet time, to organise the house.

"I think I'm going to go back on July 10. So, I have just got one week to get everything organised. Got a whole lot of instructions about how to make the place Covid proof."

Asked if he had put his son, the Prime Minister, in a difficult position by travelling to Greece, Mr Johnson senior said: "I have read his answers and he is absolutely right to say... that, you know what... and I think... I am not going to talk about private conversations between family members... and, I am absolutely not going to talk about that."

Boris Johnson has refused to condemn his father for flying to Greece in apparent breach of Foreign Office guidance to avoid non-essential travel.

This was after Mr Johnson senior was widely criticised after reportedly travelling via Bulgaria – in order to avoid the ban on direct flights from the UK – to visit his Greek villa.

During an LBC radio phone-in, the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to say whether he was "disappointed" with his father's actions.

"I think you really ought to raise that with him. I am not going to get into details of family conversations," he said.

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