Anyone who can master Ancient Greek like Boris can master anything ... including London

Last updated at 15:50 05 May 2008


London's voters may not realise it yet, but when they chose Boris Johnson as Mayor, they also handed a platform to the entire Johnson clan.

No sooner had Boris triumphed in the mayoral elections than members of his family grabbed the limelight to give their characteristically colourful opinions on the new incumbent and how he would perform in the job.

The interventions prompted speculation that the Johnsons could turn into a British political version of the hit US cartoon family The Simpsons.

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Stan and Boris Johnson

Dynasty: Borsi with his father Stanley Johnson Snr suggested he might like to succeed his son as Henley MP

Boris's father, former Conservative Euro MP Stanley Johnson, wasted no time making a shameless bid for his son's Commons seat after Johnson Jnr confirmed he planned to give up his Henley constituency to concentrate on his new role.

Stanley Johnson, who unsuccessfully fought Teignbridge in Devon at the last General Election, said he would love to be picked for the Tory stronghold.

"Why shouldn't I? I am not dead. I'm 67 but I'm still taken by people as Boris's brother," he said yesterday while babysitting Boris's four children to let his son head off to City Hall to formally sign on as Mayor.

"Why should I give up? I'm interested in politics, I have been a politician and I'm from a political family," he added.

Basking in the "great result" of his son's election, Mr Johnson Snr also used a television interview to claim that Boris would use his classical education as a model for running London.

"If you can master Ancient Greek like Boris you can master anything. Pericles's view of Athenian democracy is a pretty good model," he said.

Displaying his son's flippant tone and fondness for flowery language, Mr Johnson Snr added: "I have known Boris as long as anyone and he is not a buffoon.

"He has Turkish, French, Swiss, English and Jewish blood – he is a walking poly-cultural phenomenon."

Boris's sister, writer Rachel Johnson, said: "When Boris was a little boy, he told me he wanted to be world king, so Mayor of London is definitely

a start."

She also laughed off claims that her brother was anti-gay, saying: "As for homophobia, he went to Eton..."

Rachel also dismissed allegations of racism levelled at Boris during the mayoral campaign.

"He's married to a woman who's half Sikh Indian, his children are a quarter Indian. It is so insulting, I get so cross when this is raised," she said.

Boris's younger brother, Leo, 40, revealed: "He nearly didn't live to see this day because when we were children, I accidentally shot him.

"Since it happened he has always been very wary of me. It happened when we lived in Brussels, when our father was a Euro MP over there.

"We were fooling around with an airgun, which belonged to a neighbour. We were meant to be shooting cans, but I saw a richer target nearby.

"I pointed the gun at Boris and fired and hit him smack in the stomach.

"I remember his reaction very vividly, he jumped up in the air in slow motion he was so shocked, and then fell to the ground.

"It was quite serious, he had to be taken to hospital and given treatment. But fortunately he survived to become London Mayor."

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