A journalist today accused Stanley Johnson of leering then groping her at a Tory conference – revealing she decided to speak out about it to support another MP who says he slapped her bottom.
Ailbhe Rea – who first made the allegation on Twitter last week – told today how she thought he had been a ‘nice older man’.
But she said he then went on to touch her as he walked past at 2019’s Conservative party conference in Manchester.
Ms Rea – who was 24 at the time – said she had been so shocked by him she had been unable to say anything.
She said she wanted to speak out after Tory MP Caroline Nokes said he had slapped her on the bottom 20 years ago. Mr Johnson, 81, has denied both of the women’s allegations.
Writing in the New Statesman, Ms Rea said: ‘I went to a party at Conservative conference. It was in Manchester, in 2019. I knew no one, but recognised everyone.
‘I had just joined a group of people I vaguely knew, when a familiar face turned around from the drinks table and began moving through the crowd in our direction: Stanley Johnson.
‘I gave him a warm smile – because this was the Prime Minister’s father, a nice older man, and someone I recognised. He smiled back, but it became more of a leer. As he walked past, he reached out to put his hand on my back.
‘His hand slid down, and lingered too low and for too long. I was so surprised and confused, I barely managed a grimace before he was gone. I said nothing to him.
New Statesman journalist Ailbhe Rea described in full for the first time the alleged incident
PM’s father Mr Johnson, now 81, says he has ‘no recollection’ of either incident with the women
‘It was the principle of it that I objected to: I should not be touched in a sexual way by anyone, anywhere, without my consent.
‘My Dad, a true Belfast man, collected himself and declared Stanley Johnson a “dirty oul get”, which I appreciate might not translate.’
She added ‘I didn’t want Nokes to be alone in calling out something I knew hadn’t only happened to her.’
Yesterday Boris Johnson’s sister claimed Ms Nokes was ‘not playing the game’ by alleging her father Stanley slapped her on the bottom nearly two decades ago.
Rachel Johnson questioned the value of the Romsey and Southampton North MP making the 2003 allegation in 2021, by asking: ‘What does it actually achieve?’.
Speaking on her own podcast ‘Difficult Women’, the journalist and broadcaster said she did ‘not defend male aggressive sexual behaviour’.
But the 56-year-old said she believed that making claims such as those made against her father by Ms Nokes ‘redounds against women in the end’.
It comes after the Tory MP claimed Stanley Johnson forcefully smacked her on the backside and made a comment at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool in 2003.
Previously Ms Rea had only posted very brief details of what she said had happened to her
Caroline Nokes, 49, claims she was slapped on bottom by Stanley Johnson in alleged incident
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.’
Ms Nokes, 49, has been widely praised for speaking out about Mr Johnson’s alleged behaviour, including by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan who said women had for far too long had to deal with ‘casual sexism, the wandering hand’.
But speaking on her podcast about the allegations, Ms Johnson said: ‘He (Stanley) has been in a spot of bother because a female Tory MP didn’t really play up and play the game because she revealed he smacked her bottom about 20 years ago.’
She added: ‘What worries me about it is, what does it actually achieve?
‘My fear is, it does encourager les autres (encourage other) women to come out and say things that have happened to them, but also I’ve heard men saying “bloody women, you can’t trust them and we don’t know how to behave anymore”.
‘I’m not defending any sort of male aggressive sexual behaviour but I do think it redounds against women in the end.’
Ms Johnson made the comments in the podcast while speaking to former Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson – who has previously rallied against modern day feminism and the #MeToo movement.
Ms Robinson, who recently had Johnson stay with her and described him as ‘her best guest’, also gave her view on the allegations made by Ms Nokes.
She said: ‘What I believe is that it’s not what I marched for.
‘I never campaigned for women to start whinging 20 years later and suddenly have a memory of something that hadn’t upset them at the time.
‘Why didn’t she say something?’
Ms Robinson added: ‘I think your dad is perfectly safe. He’s very safe in my house, he’s wonderful company.’
Ms Nokes, a former immigration minister who now chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, raised the allegations against Stanley Johnson earlier this month.
She accused Mr 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. In the same election 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.