William Hague says ‘standards have changed’ in light of Stanley Johnson allegation

Lord Hague, the former foreign secretary and erstwhile Tory leader, has said a “cultural shift” regarding behaviour has occurred, after Conservative MP and former minister Caroline Nokes told Sky News yesterday that the Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson had touched her inappropriately at the Conservative Party Conference in 2003.

He told Times Radio earlier today: “What we’re seeing, of course, is people being caught out, as it were, and being named and shamed for things they did in the context of a past culture.

The Sexual Offences Act, given royal assent on 20 November 2003, just weeks after that year’s party conference season, formally criminalised forms of sexual assault that involved non-consensual sexual touching.

“Now standards are very, very different, so everybody better look out and be aware that standards are very different,” he went on.

He said it was “awful” to hear Ms Nokes’ experience, and he explained that he thought “there was always something wrong with that sort of banter and behaviour anyway, and it wasn’t what everybody did by any means.”

Stanley Johnson has told reporters that he “has no recollection” of the alleged incident.