Boris Johnson’s father has described his “pride” at being called a “non-cooperative crusty” by his own son, as he addressed climate change activists.
A fresh wave of disruptive action by the Extinction Rebellion movement has closed down parts of central London this week.
The prime minister addressed the protesters’ action while attending the launch of the third volume of Margaret Thatcher’s authorised biography on Monday night.
He told guests: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters… littering the road.”
But speaking to a crowd of Extinction Rebellion supporters in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday, his father Stanley Johnson made light of his son’s comments.
“On the point of ‘non-cooperative crusties’, I wear that badge with pride,” he said.
“It’s one of the nicest things that he has been said about me for a long time.
“A ‘non-cooperative crusty’, absolutely superb – do they taste good? That’s my thought, I think they do.”
Stanley Johnson, who has long worked on environmental issues, also told the crowd the prime minister “absolutely supported the objectives” of their campaign.
Speaking later to the Press Association, Stanley Johnson stressed his family did not differ in their views on climate change.
“As far as climate change is concerned the family dynamic would be totally united,” he said.
“I don’t believe there is a single dissenting voice in the Johnson family.
“Don’t forget we grew up in the country, we grew up on Exmoor, nature is in our blood.
“I don’t think you need to say ‘Will he [Boris] listen?’
“If you listen to what he said on the steps of Downing Street that very first day, he ended with an appeal for movement on the environment and animal welfare.
“And that is a very, very good sign.”
Stanley Johnson added he judged the Extinction Rebellion action to be “tremendously important”.
“From tiny acorns, big movements spring,” he said.
“This is a movement, it is a very important movement. It is absolutely clear to me that we have been moving far too slowly on the climate change issue.”
Almost 600 protesters have been arrested during the first few days of Extinction Rebellion’s two-week demonstration in the capital, police said.
Activists have shut down roads and glued themselves to buildings.
Anyone who fails to comply with a police order to only assemble in the pedestrianised area of Trafalgar Square is liable to arrest and prosecution.