Stanley Johnson said Boris becoming ill made the UK realise coronavirus was 'serious' and people are not impressed

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Friday 10 April 2020 08:15
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The UK’s coronavirus death toll currently stands at 7,978.

The entire country is in lockdown.

Hundreds of thousands have been forced into unemployment.

The NHS is so overwhelmed it’s trying to raise £5 million via the public.

But according to Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, the seriousness of coronavirus only became apparent to the nation when his son was admitted to the ICU, on 7 April.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Stanley spoke of his relief at his son’s improved conditions (while obviously quoting Hamlet for no apparent reason), and thanked the NHS workers charged with his care.

He also held forth on the impact Boris’ hospitalisation had apparently had on the country.

I do think this whole event of Boris going into intensive care and now happily coming out, it has actually served an amazing purpose in the sense it’s got the whole country to realise this is a serious event. If it can hit the prime minister for heaven’s sake!

“It does come close to home, it certainly made me feel very, very cautious,” he continued.

“[Boris] almost took one for the team and we’ve got to make sure we play the game properly now”.

In March, Stanley ignited outrage when he said he would ignore government health advice to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.

“Of course, I’ll go to a pub if I need to go to a pub,” he told presenters on ITV’s This Morning.

And his latest comments have stirred equal ire by those who don’t take kindly to the idea that it took the PM getting sick to drive home the enormity of Covid-19.

Some pointed out that Johnson appeared to have flouted government advice again by travelling to his second home in Somerset.

Others questioned why the father of the UK’s prime minister makes regular appearances in the media.

And some asked why the Today presenters hadn’t taken the opportunity to quiz Stanley about his previous stance on the coronavirus crisis.

Perhaps Stanley should use this period to practice the age-old art of keeping schtum if you don't know any better.

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