Culture secretary

Stanley Johnson: Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries says she ‘does not believe’ PM’s father inappropriately touched fellow Tory MP Caroline Nokes | Political news

A government minister has defended Stanley Johnson, calling him a ‘gentleman’ after a fellow Conservative Party MP accused the Prime Minister’s father of touching her inappropriately.

Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, said she ‘didn’t believe’ what Caroline Nokes had accused the former MEP of.

In response to comments, Mrs Nokes said she was ‘sorry’ the government member had ‘reported her’ – and hoped the remarks would not deter other women from testifying to ‘experiences of sexual harassment in public’.

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The touching complaint of an MP against Stanley Johnson

Ms Nokes previously told Sky News that Stanley Johnson hit her “as hard as he could” on the back at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool in 2003.

She told Sky News“I remember a very high profile man – at the time the Tory candidate for Teignbridge in Devon – slapping my behind as hard as he could and saying, ‘oh, Romsey, you have a nice seat ‘.”

Stanley Johnson, father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives for the Conservative Party annual conference, in Manchester, Britain October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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Mr Johnson said he did not remember Ms Nokes

Sky News has approached Stanley Johnson – now 81 – for a comment on the allegation. He said: “I have no memory of Caroline Nokes – but there you go. And no response… Hey ho, good luck and thanks.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail today, Ms Dorries said: ‘I don’t believe that happened.

She added: “I’ve known Stanley for 15 years. He’s a gentleman. That’s never happened to me. Maybe there’s something wrong with me.”

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No comment from PM’s father on alleged behavior

But Ms Nokes, 49, said: “I am very sorry that the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has used her considerable influence and power in the media to expose me for this way, and I really hope her attitude doesn’t stop other women from being brave enough to report their experiences of sexual harassment in public.”

Following Ms Nokes’ initial remarks, New Statesman reporter Ailbhe Rea alleged that Mr Johnson groped her at the Conservative Party Conference in 2019.

Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, said it’s a common misconception for people to think others can’t commit sexual harassment or violence.

“It’s the thing that silences victims. It reminds them to shut up about their experiences,” the Labor MP said.

“I have to say I expected better from Nadine. I’m not surprised though, that’s the most common response to disbelief.

“I don’t know exactly why she thinks Caroline would lie. Where’s the advantage?”