It has emerged Boris Johnson’s father Stanley invited the Chinese ambassador in the UK to his home for lunch, the same ambassador that was banned from parliament after China imposed travel bans and asset freezes against five British MPs and two peers.
Zheng Zeguang, China’s ambassador to the UK, showed up at Stanley Johnson’s home in London for lunch, together with his wife, Hua Mei.
Johnson Sr wrote on Instagram he was “delighted to entertain” the China’s highest diplomat in the UK.
Many took to social media to criticise the gathering, including Nigel Farage.
The former UKIP leader posted on Twitter: ‘Even in these times it is good to see the Johnson family are still in bed with the Chinese Communist Party.’
Barred from parliament
Zeguang was barred from parliament in September last year after protests were sparked by MPs and peers still under sanctions by China.
He had been invited by Richard Graham, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary China Group, to attend a Commons reception.
But Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Speaker Lord McFall intervened at the last moment to prevent his attendance.
The Chinese embassy called the decision “despicable and cowardly”, an “action of certain individuals of the UK Parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK” in a statement.”
The lunch at Stanley Johnson’s house comes amid escalating tensions between the UK and China.
Last year, the UK imposed sanctions for the first time against Chinese officials for the abuse of human rights in Xinjiang.
In response China announced travel bans and asset freezes against five British MPs and two peers on the charge of defaming the country through lies about it.
The sanctioned MPs, which included Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, Tom Tugendhat, Nusrat Ghani, Neil O’Brien and Tim Loughton, protested their outrage that Zeguang had been invited to a reception on the Terrace Pavilion in a letter.
In it, they wrote: “The sanctions imposed by the Chinese government represent an attack not just on members directly targeted but on Parliament, all parliamentarians, select committees, and parliamentary privilege.”
“It is unthinkable therefore that parliamentarians should have to suffer this infringement on our liberties,” the MPs continued, “whilst the prime representative of the Chinese government in the UK is still apparently free to come to Westminster and to use facilities here as a mouthpiece for his regime.”