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‘I’d have SLAPPED Stanley Johnson’ if he touched me, says trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Boris Johnson was told to make public sexual harassment of women a specific criminal offence today – by a Tory former minister who has accused his father Stanley of smacking her backside. 

Caroline Nokes faced down the Prime Minister this afternoon, having previously claimed the now 81-year-old senior Johnson inappropriately touched her in 2003.

Stanley, a former MEP, has also been accused of similar behaviour towards a second woman, a political journalist.

Ms Nokes, 49, a former immigration minister who now chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, questioned the PM today as he faced senior MPs. 

Asked at the session of the Liaison Committee about making sexual harassment a specific offence the PM suggested he would prefer current laws to be better implemented.

It prompted Ms Nokes to reply: ‘If public sexual harassment was a specific crime they could point it out … you would then see women with more confidence to come forward.’

Boris Johnson

Caroline Nokes faced down the Prime Minister this afternoon, having previously claimed the now 81-year-old senior Johnson inappropriately touched her in 2003

A Cabinet minister today said she 'would have probably slapped' Stanley Johnson (pictured today) if he inappropriately touched her in the way alleged by Ms Nokes

A Cabinet minister today said she ‘would have probably slapped’ Stanley Johnson (pictured today) if he inappropriately touched her in the way alleged by Ms Nokes

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes is sent ‘rape threat’ and branded a ‘Tory w***e’ after accusing Boris Johnson’s father Stanley of slapping her bottom at 2003 party conference 

By James Gant for MailOnline 

The Tory MP who accused Boris Johnson‘s father of slapping her bottom nearly 20 years ago has been targeted with rape threats.

Caroline Nokes MP shared some of the vicious abuse sent to her online after she claimed Stanley groped her in 2003.

It comes as Labour urged the Tories to launch a probe following claims from her and journalist Ailbhe Rea over an alleged incident in 2019.

Former minister Ms Nokes first accused Stanley of forcefully smacking her on the backside at the Tory Party conference in 2003, ahead of him running to be an MP.

Her allegation prompted political reporter Ms Rea to say she was ‘groped’ by the former member of the European Parliament at the party conference in 2019.

Stanley declined to comment other than to say he has ‘no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all’.

Meanwhile the Tories are yet to say if a probe will be launched and No 10 declined to comment on the claims against the ‘private individual’.

Ms Nokes revealed some of the vicious hate posted to her on social media last night after her claims emerged.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘And to [man’s name] – thank you for your email tonight: ”I wish he had raped you you filthy Tory wh***.”’

She added: ‘That is the level of discourse women MPs have to deal with, every single day.’ 

Asked if there could be a case to make conduct such as public sexual harassment a specific crime, Mr Johnson told the Commons Liaison Committee: ‘We have quite a lot of statute of one kind or another against serious assault, sexual violence, rape… and harassment.’

He added: ‘The tragedy at the moment is we are not… enforcing these enough as it is. I have to think about how, really, to tackle the crimes that the public want tackled, rather than widening the range of human conduct that we ask the police to criminalise and enforce against.

‘What I want to see is proper enforcement of the existing law and… much more prosecution for those who are accused of rape. And at the moment that is where the numbers are going wrong.’

Mr Johnson said he believed there was ‘evidence to support’ the existence of a ‘ladder of offending’ when it comes to violence against women and girls.

Ms Nokes, the MP for Romsey, accused Stanley Johnson of forcefully smacking her on the backside and making a comment at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool in  2003, ahead of him running to be a Tory MP.

At the time, she was preparing to campaign to represent the Hampshire constituency of Romsey during the 2005 election, during which Mr Johnson ran for Teignbridge, in Devon.

‘I can remember a really prominent man smacking me on the backside about as hard as he could and going, ”Oh, Romsey, you’ve got a lovely seat”,’ Ms Nokes told Sky News.

The allegation prompted journalist Ailbhe Rea to say she was ‘groped’ by Mr Johnson at the party conference in 2019. 

The journalist for the New Statesman magazine said he ‘groped’ her at the Manchester party conference in 2019, when Boris Johnson was Tory leader.

Stanley Johnson told the Sun: ‘I have no recollection of Caroline Nokes, and no idea what she was talking about.

‘Had I been asked about the allegation made by the journalist of the New Statesman, I would have said the same thing.’

This morning a Cabinet minister said she ‘would have probably slapped’ Stanley Johnson if he inappropriately touched her in the way alleged by Ms Nokes.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who is Boris Johnson‘s International Trade Secretary, praised the Romsey MP for speaking out about the alleged behaviour.

Ms Trevelyan said women had for far too long had to deal with ‘casual sexism, the wandering hand’.

It is still unclear whether the Tory party will investigate the two allegations against Stanley Johnson. 

The 81-year-old says has ‘no recollection’ of either of the alleged incidents.

Ms Trevelyan said that she was ‘very, very glad’ that Ms Nokes had raised the allegation, adding: ‘It should always be called out.’

Asked if Mr Johnson will be investigated, Ms Trevelyan told Sky News: ‘I will leave Caroline to work with the party on that but we have a robust system in place and I hope very much she’ll be able to work that through with the party machine.

‘But more widely this is something that all of us who are women not only in political life but in all sorts of life have for far too long have had to tolerate the sort of casual sexism, the wandering hand, that is completely unacceptable.’

And asked what she would have done in response to the alleged touching, she said: ‘At the time, I would have probably slapped him, which arguably isn’t a better response either but it would’ve been an instinctive response from me and I think Caroline would’ve shown great personal restraint if she quietly moved away.’ 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for an investigation either by the Tories or the police. 

It comes after Ms Nokes shared some of the vicious abuse sent to her online making the allegations against Mr Johnson. 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured), who is Boris Johnson's International Trade Secretary, praised Caroline Nokes for speaking out about the alleged behaviour from the Conservative former MEP

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured), who is Boris Johnson’s International Trade Secretary, praised Caroline Nokes for speaking out about the alleged behaviour from the Conservative former MEP

Ms Trevelyan said women had for far too long had to deal with ‘casual sexism, the wandering hand’. It comes after former minister and current Tory MP Ms Nokes (pictured) accused Stanley Johnson of forcefully smacking her on the backside and making a comment at the Conservative Party conference in 2003, ahead of him running to be a Tory MP.

Stanley Johnson (pictured), 81, says has ‘no recollection’ of either of the alleged incidents

Former minister Caroline Nokes, 49, is seen during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in July 2021

Ailbhe Rea

Senior Conservative MP Caroline Nokes (left), 49, and New Statesman journalist Ailbhe Rea (right) have both accused Stanley Johnson of inappropriately touching them 

Stanley declined to comment other than to say he has 'no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all'

Stanley declined to comment other than to say he has ‘no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all’

Keir Starmer urges police probe into claims against Boris’s father Stanley Johnson

By Jacob Thoburn for MailOnline

Keir Starmer has called on the Tories or ‘criminal authorities’ to investigate claims after a senior Conservative MP and a journalist accused Stanley Johnson, the Prime Minister’s father, of inappropriately touching them at party conferences. 

The Labour leader urged a police probe into allegations that the elder Johnson inappropriately touched former minister Caroline Nokes, 49, and told her she had a ‘lovely seat’ at the Tory Party conference in Blackpool in 2003. Political journalist Alibhe Rea added she was ‘groped’ by the former MEP at another Tory Party conference in 2019. 

Mr Johnson, 81, has so far declined to comment other than to say he has ‘no recollection of Caroline Nokes at all’, while the Conservative Party is yet to say whether an investigation will be launched. Meanwhile, Downing Street and Boris Johnson‘s official spokesman declined to comment on the allegations against the ‘private individual’.

He was heard saying ‘no, no, no, no’ and waving his hand when approached by a Sky News reporter outside his £2.5m home in London on Tuesday.  

But Sir Keir, an ex-barrister, said the severity of the allegations against Mr Johnson were ‘serious’ and needed to ‘be fully investigated’.

He added: ‘I don’t think at this stage it’s for me to say what should happen as a result. But it takes guts and bravery to come forward to make allegations like this.

‘They now need to be fully investigated – either by the Conservative Party, or by the criminal authorities. Those allegations having been made, there now needs to be an investigation into them.’

Ms Nokes revealed some of the vicious hate posted to her on social media last night after her claims emerged.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘And to [man’s name] – thank you for your email tonight: ”I wish he had raped you you filthy Tory wh***.”’

She added: ‘That is the level of discourse women MPs have to deal with, every single day.’

Home Office minister Damian Hinds did not commit to an investigation during an appearance on the same radio station.

‘If there is an investigation to be had, if that is the appropriate course of action, then of course that will happen,’ he said.

The comments from Ms Nokes prompted a separate allegation from Ms Rea, which the journalist for the New Statesman magazine said happened at the Manchester party conference in 2019, when Boris Johnson was Tory leader.

Ms Rea wrote on Twitter: ‘Stanley Johnson also groped me at a party at Conservative conference in 2019.

‘I am grateful to Caroline Nokes for calling out something that none of us should have to put up with, not least from the Prime Minister’s father.’

Stanley Johnson lost the campaign to become an MP in 2005 but had served as a Conservative MEP between 1979 and 1984.

On Tuesday Ms Nokes tweeted: ‘Just wanted to thank the sisterhood for the solidarity and support today. You know who you are and you’re amazing.’

Downing Street declined to say whether an investigation would be carried out, with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman saying: ‘I haven’t spoken to the PM about this, it wouldn’t be one for me.

‘I’m not going to be drawn into specific allegations against a private individual. 

‘Of course we would want anyone in any circumstance who feels they have been a victim of any kind of harassment to come forward and report them to the appropriate authorities.’

Meanwhile Labour Leader Sir Keir, an ex-barrister, said the severity of the allegations against Mr Johnson were ‘serious’ and needed to ‘be fully investigated’.

He added: ‘I don’t think at this stage it’s for me to say what should happen as a result. But it takes guts and bravery to come forward to make allegations like this.

‘They now need to be fully investigated – either by the Conservative Party, or by the criminal authorities. Those allegations having been made, there now needs to be an investigation into them.’


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