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Boris Johnson dodges girlfriend row as Jeremy Hunt warns against ‘populist’ choice | Politics News

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Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson has refused to talk about reports he had a screaming row with his girlfriend at their home.

When repeatedly asked about the incident at a Tory hustings event, Mr Johnson avoided giving a direct answer, saying: “Most people would really rather judge my ambitions and my character.”

“I don’t think they want to hear about that kind of thing,” he said.

“I think what they want to hear is what my plans are for the country and for our party.”

Debate host Iain Dale kept on pressing Mr Johnson to audience boos, with the former London mayor telling them: “Don’t boo the great man.”

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds
Image:
Police attended the home of Mr Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds on Friday

After five questions, Mr Johnson said it was “pretty clear” he would not discuss the matter.

The response came as he faced off with leadership rival Jeremy Hunt in Birmingham.

The line of questioning followed reports police were called to the home of the Tory leadership candidate and his partner Carrie Symonds early on Friday morning.

According to The Guardian, a neighbour called 999 after hearing screaming, shouting and banging.

Scotland Yard said the caller was “concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour”.

A police spokesperson said officers “attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well”.

“There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action,” they added.

The Guardian reported that the neighbour, who made a recording of the altercation, said they knocked on the door but received no response.

“I [was] hoping that someone would answer the door and say ‘we’re okay’. I knocked three times and no one came to the door,” they told the newspaper.

They also claimed they heard a sound like “smashing plates”, as well as “a couple of very loud screams” and a “loud bang” which shook the house.

Another neighbour told Sky News his wife had heard shouting and seen the police arrive.

Screengrab taken from the Twitter account of @BWallace_MP
Image:
Screengrab taken from the Twitter account of @BWallace_MP

Fatimah, 32, who also lives nearby, said: “Just after midnight I heard a lady shouting, but I couldn’t make out what she said, then I heard plates and glasses smashing and things being thrown around.

“I was watching something on the television and I had to mute it because I was quite concerned, it was coming through the walls.

“It lasted for just under 10 minutes, and a police car turned up first, and then a police van a few minutes later.”

A close ally of Mr Johnson, security minister Ben Wallace, said in a now-deleted tweet to a Sun journalist: “What a non story ‘couple have row’.

“Lefty neighbours give recording to Guardian. Newspaper reaches new low is a better news story.”

In a later tweet, Mr Wallace attempted to clarify his comment and referred to domestic abuse, saying: “Didn’t say DA was a non story.

“It is incredibly serious. But the report said ‘row’.”



Jeremy Hunt has urged Conservative members not to elect a populist



Hunt makes his pitch to be prime minister

At the hustings event, Mr Dale told Mr Johnson he was “completely avoiding” questions about the argument.

Mr Johnson was the first to address Conservative members before Mr Hunt took to the stage to answer questions.

The former London mayor said he was the man to “get Brexit done” and “unleash on the project”, adding that “in all confidence, we can turn this thing around”.

But in a swipe at Mr Johnson, Mr Hunt said: “We could choose our own populist, or we could do better… we could choose our own Jeremy.

“A Jeremy that’s going to deliver Brexit, unleash the potential of our extraordinary country, deliver true Brexit.”

Mr Hunt, who appeared on the stage with his sleeves rolled up, later warned members of the end of the Conservative Party.

He said: “We are in a very serious situation.

“Get things wrong and there will be no Conservative government, maybe even no Conservative Party.

“Get things right and we can deliver Brexit, unite the party and send Corbyn packing. That’s our choice.

“Who is the PM we trust to send to Brussels to lead us out of this crisis? If we send the wrong person, catastrophe awaits.”

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