Steerpike Steerpike

Stanley Johnson and the Covid loophole

NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images

Labour have been taking a cheeky pop at the PM’s father today in the Guardian over new coronavirus regulations coming into force later this month. Under the guidelines from 29 March, people will be allowed to leave the UK to prepare a second home for sale or rent as part of a list of specific ‘reasonable excuses to travel’ outside the country.

Andrew Gwynne has dubbed this the ‘Stanley Johnson clause’ in a reference to the latter allegedly breaking Covid guidelines by travelling to his Greek villa to make it ‘Covid-proof.’ In typically partisan style, Gwynne claims that: 

For hardworking families facing the prospect of missing out on summer holidays, it will stick in the craw that the government has inserted a ‘Stanley Johnson clause’ to Covid rules that allows people to come and go if they have property abroad… It seems it’s still one rule for them and another for the rest of us.

Mr Steerpike thought it only fair to give Johnson Sr a right of reply to such barbs. A baffled Stanley told Mr S: 

As far as I can remember, the only reason my trips to Greece attracted any interest was that the Greeks had banned direct flights from Britain so I decided to fly via Bulgaria. When I got there the Greeks could not have been more delighted and the Greek tourism minister went on TV to say so!

Johnson of course famously stood for parliament back in 2005 alongside son Boris but failed to win his election to the Commons. Mr S is glad for his sake that at least he now has a ‘loophole’ named after him to compensate as a retrospective parliamentary achievement.

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