Boris Johnson’s father to stand for EU elections as Tory

Stanley Johnson will stand for the EU elections. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Stanley Johnson will stand for the EU elections. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
0
Have your say

Boris Johnson might be one of the highest profile proponents for leaving the EU, but his father has other ideas.

Stanley Johnson, 78, is a staunch Remainer who spent the 2016 EU referendum arguing against his famous son.

He served as a Conservative MEP for Wight and Hampshire East between 1979 and 1984.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Brexit proves benefits of independence in Europe

The passionate environmentalist also served as head of the Prevention of Pollution Division at the European Commission for six years before taking elected office.

Now the eldest member of the Johnson family has pledged to return to his old stomping ground of Brussels by standing to be a Euro MP for the Tories.

He told radio station LBC: “I think the idea that we should be talking down these Euro elections is absurd.

“If we’re staying in, we may as well do what is required and fight the elections. And if we’re going to fight the elections we might as well fight to win, I’m speaking as a Conservative.

“And as Conservatives I think we should have a really constructive role to play out there.”

Exactly how long MEPs will serve and what they will be able to vote on is as yet unclear.

READ MORE: Brexit: Theresa May won’t say whether she’ll quit over long delay

Despite many questions still being up in the air, the former I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! contestant remains optimistic.

“I’m saying ‘don’t let’s be gloomy about this’,” he said.

“It’s happening. It will happen and let’s make the most of it.”

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis notified members on Monday of the need for candidates and campaigners in EU elections, set to be held on 23 May.

This is despite Theresa May pledging to take Britain out of the EU before the continent wide elections on 22 May.

An email sent out by Tory headquarters to names on its candidates list said: “Due to the current situation we will be contesting the European elections on 23 May and the closing date for nominations is 24 April.”

Potential Labour Euro-MPs have until Wednesday to put their names forward. Candidates will be interviewed – by telephone because of the time constraints – and selected by 17 April.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.