BORIS Jonhson’s dad has been rejected as a Tory candidate for the European elections.
I’m A Celebrity star Stanley admitted he “failed to catch the selectors’ eye” after trying to become an MEP again, 40 years after he first stood.
The 78-year-old said he thought he had been overlooked because of “Anno Domini” – an apparent reference to his age.
Stanley, a Conservative MEP between 1979 and 1984, told the Politics Home website that the Tories were wrong to think May’s European elections were a “waste of time and money”.
And, echoing his son’s way with words, he said it was “balderdash” for ministers to adopt a “feeble, defeatist attitude” and accept the EU’s line that the Brexit deal cannot be changed.
Although Stanley backed Remain in the referendum while his son Boris led the Leave campaign, they both oppose the “backstop” – the safety net that would keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union if future trade deals fail.
Stanley wrote: “In my view, newly-elected UK MEPs need to make clear that they totally disagree with the idea that the Withdrawal Agreement is done and dusted and not up for renegotiation or even tweaking.
“And I am sure they will find other MEPs, outside the UK, who deplore the way the UK has been treated over the Irish backstop issue and see the need for change in the Withdrawal Agreement in this area at least.”
He said Conservatives should support Sir Graham Brady’s plan to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements” such as new technology to carry out customs checks away from the Irish border.
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“Sadly, in spite of the fact that the Government supported the Brady amendment, it continues to accept the EU’s bald statement that the Withdrawal Agreement is not up for renegotiation.
“My polite response to that is: ‘Balderdash!’ This is precisely the feeble defeatist attitude that candidates in the European election should be questioning.
“Alas, I failed to catch the selectors’ eye last week so must make my point here rather than at the hustings. I would like to believe that it was a question of ‘Anno Domini’, but who knows?”
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