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Tue, 26 May 2020

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Boris Johnson ducks questions after police called to noisy altercation at his home

Boris Johnson ducks questions after police called to noisy altercation at his home
3 min read

Boris Johnson has refused to answer questions about a noisy altercation which saw the police called out to the flat he shares with his partner Carrie Symonds.


The Tory leadership frontrunner was repeatedly pressed on the issue at a Conservative party hustings in Birmingham on Saturday, but said people did not "want to hear" about the reported row.

In a recording obtained by The Guardian, Mr Johnson can be heard shouting "get off my fucking laptop" at Ms Symonds before there is a loud noise.

Ms Symonds was meanwhile heard telling the MP to "get off me" and "get out of my flat".

Asked about the story at Saturday's hustings by host Iain Dale, Mr Johnson said: "I don't think they want to hear about that kind of thing, unless I'm wrong.

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

But Mr Dale - a former Conservative candidate - continued to press the leadership favourite on the issue, and Mr Johnson conceded that people were "entitled to ask about me and my determination, my character and what I want to do for the country".

Accused of ducking the question, Mr Johnson replied: "You asked about my character actually, I'm not avoiding your question, you asked a very direct question about my character and what I'm telling you is that when it comes to delivering on promises, and when you look at my determination to deliver for people who vote for me, when I say I will do X, I generally speaking, deliver X plus 10."

Mr Dale was then booed by activists as he again pressed Mr Johnson on whether a person's private life had a bearing on their ability to be Prime Minister.

The Conservative MP - who told the audience not to jeer the host - replied: "Well, look, I've tried to give my answer pretty exhaustively."

He added: "I think what people want to know is whether I have the determination and the courage to deliver on the commitments that I'm making."

'ANYBODY WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING'

On Saturday night the neighbour who recorded and contacted the police over the incident, Tom Penn, defended his decision to do so and hit out at "bizarre and fictitious allegations" against him and his wife, Eve Leigh.

He told The Guardian he had been worried about his neighbour's safety, adding: "I hope that anybody would have done the same thing."

Mr Penn said: "Once clear that no one was harmed, I contacted the Guardian, as I felt it was of important public interest.

"I believe it is reasonable for someone who is likely to become our next Prime Minister to be held accountable for all of their words, actions and behaviours.

"I, along with a lot of my neighbours all across London, voted to remain within the EU. That is the extent of my involvement in politics."

After police were alerted, two police cars and a van arrived to investigate the incident.

In a statement, a Metropolitan Police spokesperson: "At 00:24hrs on Friday, 21 June, police responded to a call from a local resident in [south London]. The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour.

"Police 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."

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