The prime minister’s father Stanley Johnson has said he is “absolutely delighted” after securing French citizenship.
The 81-year-old, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum unlike Boris Johnson who was a figurehead for the Vote Leave campaign, said he is pleased to retain a tie with the bloc.
The PM’s father, who is also a former member of the European Parliament (MEP), said his son responded to the news with one word: “Magnifique.”
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France’s justice ministry confirmed Mr Johnson, whose mother was French, secured the dual nationality on Wednesday after originally applying last November.
“This decision only regards Mr Stanley Johnson and does not extend to his descendants,” a statement said.
The prime minister’s father said: “I’m absolutely delighted and have no idea at what level this decision was taken but I do think it was a very imaginative thing to do at this moment, at a time when relations with France and the EU are not necessarily the best.
“I think it’s very nice for arms to be stretched out one way or another.
“I got a one word reply from Boris, which said, ‘Magnifique’.”
He said the most significant reason behind the decision was “sentimental”, with his mother Irene Williams having been born in Versailles.
But, the PM’s father added: “It was a little gesture of saying that although the UK may have left the EU we haven’t actually left Europe.
“It’s a tiny gesture on my part that I certainly don’t regard ourselves as being cast aside from Europe and I would say realistically as we look ahead and try to solve these trade issues, the only way we’re going to solve them is to retain a degree of commonality in our two systems. “
Number 10 declined to discuss Mr Johnson’s new citizenship, saying it is “a personal matter for the prime minister’s father”.