Boris Johnson’s resignation as Foreign Secretary may have hit the headlines across the world – but the Tory politician’s dad Stanley Johnson has now admitted that he didn’t find out for six whole days.
The I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star, 77, was possibly the last person to hear that Boris had quit the Cabinet in early July in protest over Theresa May’s Brexit proposals.
The politician, author and environmental campaigner tells the latest edition of Radio Times: “I was in the Himalayas looking for snow leopards and din’t find out until six days later when I got into Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, you know.”
“He couldn’t do anything else after saying that trying to sell the Chequers deal was like polishing a turd, and talk of Britain being a vassal state is fairly apt,” Stanley says. “Curiously, I had spent that week in pursuit of snow-leopard turds. Funny, that.”
But while father and son may be close, they don’t actually speak all that often. Stanley is off filming projects like his upcoming appearance on The Real Marigold Hotel, while Boris is playing the political game in Westminster.
“If Boris wants to know what I’m doing he only has to switch on the TV,” explains Stanley. “If I want to know what he’s up to I just pick up the papers.”
Would Stanley be surprised if he picked up the papers one day to discover his son had become Prime Minister? Probably not.
“A man who’s been Brackenbury Scholar at Balliol can surely handle being PM.” Stanley says of his Eton and Oxford-educated son.
Stanley also has some thoughts about how the Conservatives can connect with younger voters – like Georgia “Toff” Toffolo, who he famously bonded with while filming I’m A Celebrity.
“Sweet girl. Went to Blundells. Not in the first rank of public schools, of course,” he says. “Unbelievably, she turns out to be a supporter of the Conservative Party.”
He adds: “This reality TV stuff we were doing plays so well with the younger generation, and if the Tories need anything, it’s to attract the younger generation.”
Read the full interview in Radio Times magazine available in shops and on the newsstand from Tuesday 24th July