‘I’m very keen on bunnies’: Boris Johnson’s father Stanley defends rabbits after PM mocks climate activists

Bunny-hugging is a good term, says long-standing environmental supporter, after Greta Thunberg taunts PM

Jane Dalton@JournoJane
Friday 23 April 2021 15:54
comments
Boris Johnson, who used a rabbit at a school visit in 2019 election campaigning, derided ‘bunny-huggers'
Boris Johnson, who used a rabbit at a school visit in 2019 election campaigning, derided ‘bunny-huggers'

The prime minister’s father says he is “very keen on bunnies” and that “bunny-hugging” is an affectionate term, after Boris Johnson used the phrase to take a swipe at environmental idealists.

At a virtual summit over action to curb rising greenhouse gases and sea levels, the PM told world leaders: “It’s vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny-hugging, or however you want to put it. There’s nothing wrong with bunny hugging but you know what I’m driving at.”

His derision for environmental campaigners prompted a backlash, and Greta Thunberg  changed her social media profile to read “bunny hugger”.

Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, a long-time eco campaigner, when asked on LBC whether the term was offensive, said: “I’m very keen on bunnies so when I sit here in Exmoor looking out of my window, I can see – well, there used to be thousands of them before myxomatosis dealt with that – so yes I think bunny-hugging is a good term.”

He said his son had made the remark as an aside.

On whether it’s possible to be green and a Conservative, Stanley Johnson said: “I don’t think I’d mind being seen as a greenie. I’m not sure I’m keen on being pc.”

He added: “I think we’re witnessing quite a sea change in Conservative policy and this particular organisation I’m the ambassador of, the Conservative Environmental Network, has a large number of MPs signed up to us.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments