The UK Prime Minister's father, Stanley Johnson, has jetted off to Greece to holiday at his mountainside villa in blatant disregard of travel advice from the government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Stanley Johnson flew despite the Foreign Office's guidance saying that British citizens should not travel internationally unless unnecessary. The 79-year-old arrived in Athens last night to visit his mountain villa and even boasted about his trip on Instagram with posts showing off his plane flying into Athens. Since the Greek government has banned direct flights from the U.K., Johnson flew in via the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
In a statement from the balcony of his villa, which is located in northern Greece, Johnson said he was in Pelion on essential business as he had to "Covid-proof" the property before the upcoming letting season. "I need to set up distancing measures at the property because they're taking it very seriously here," he said.
This isn't the first time he has decided to go against the government's advice on the pandemic. Before the lockdown was introduced Johnson suggested he would carry on going to the pub even though people aged above 70 were urged to stay indoors.
Johnson offers the four-bedroom villa up for accommodation to tourists. The property, called Villa Irene, has a pool and terraces with panoramic views of the mountains and the sea and is surrounded by olive gardens. The two-storey villa also has two kitchens, two bathrooms, showers, toilets, a living room and a garden area with seats and sun umbrellas.
Politics and Turkish Ancestry
Johnson is a former Conservative Party politician and an author who has penned books on environmental and population issues. He was also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Wight and Hampshire East from 1979 to 1984 and is a former employee of the World Bank and the European Commission. He also appeared as a contestant on the 17th season of "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.!"
He has special ties to Greece's neighboring country, Turkey. His paternal grandfather was a Muslim Turk named Ali Kemal who died during the Young Turk revolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, at the hands of a mob incited by General Nureddin of the Turkish Army.