According to polls, only 14% of people think Stanley Johnson should be knighted
A large majority of the British public oppose Boris Johnson’s father Stanley being knighted, with just 14 per cent backing the proposal.
Exclusive poll for The Independent by Savanta ComRes found nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) thought the elder Mr Johnson, a Tory activist and former MP, should not be included as a sir on his son’s roll of honor.
The former Prime Minister questioned the honor system again last week after he was reportedly considering a gong for his father. Almost 250,000 signed The Independent‘s petition asking Rishi Sunak to block Mr Johnson’s move.
SavantaComRes found that almost half of the public (49 percent) think the honors system should be abolished, as opposed to 37 percent who prefer to continue allowing prime ministers to bestow various orders and medals – a Privilege commonly seen as a means of rewarding loyalty and political favors.
Middle-aged Brits are more weary of the honor system than the younger generation, with support falling sharply to 30 per cent in the 45-54 age group and staying low in older groups, compared to 40 per cent and more for the younger generation.
Older groups were also more likely to oppose a knighthood for the former Prime Minister’s father, with 79 per cent of those aged over 65 opposed the move, compared with just 51 per cent of those aged 25 to 34.
The younger Mr Johnson faced widespread anger over his plan. Several Conservative MPs opposed the move, including former Brexit secretary David Davis, who called it “ridiculous” and “caustic”.
Even Rachel Johnson, the former Prime Minister’s sister, was dismissive, saying: “I don’t expect there will be a national eruption of joy if my father does that [arise as] Sir Stanley”.
However, she said it remained a matter of speculation, noting that the current prime minister would have to sign off on the list.
Mr Sunak did not say if he would block the move, but Downing Street previously indicated that he had no plans to intervene in his predecessor’s nominations, telling reporters: “There are longstanding rules protecting the honors process.
“As far as I know, there are no plans to change these. It is a fact that outgoing prime ministers can nominate people in this way.”
However, the Prime Minister has indicated he does not agree to Mr Johnson’s offer, insisting he would never nominate any of his own family members for an honour.
Mr Sunak said his father would “get a card on Father’s Day – and that’s about it”.
The Savanta ComRes survey of 2,153 adults for The Independent was conducted between March 10th and 12th.