Conservative Party members in Britain, have asked Boris Johnson, favourite to become the next Prime Minister, to explain a reports of a domestic ‘row’ in his home, which led to a police visit.
Although he is still supported to beat Jeremy Hunt to become the party’s new leader, a poll published in the Mail on Sunday, suggested that the incident had reduced the backing for him.
The Guardian reported that police were alerted early on Friday, after a neighbour heard a loud arguement involving screams, shouts and bangs at Johnson’s home in south London, shortly after he had secured his place in the final run-off to become prime minister.
Reports say Johnson’s partner, Carrie Symonds, could be heard telling the former London mayor to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.
The former foreign secretary refused to answer questions about the incident on the first day of the month-long contest to win over Conservative grassroots members, saying “I don’t think people want to hear about that kind of thing.”
Rather he focused on his policies, saying “we need to get Brexit done”, and promised to prepare Britain for a no deal exit from the European Union if a deal cannot be reached.
But another candidate in the race, Malcolm Rifkind, criticised the response. “The fact is there was a police visit. You don’t just say ‘no comment’.
“That implies you may have something you don’t want to disclose,” he told BBC Radio 5.
Former foreign office minister, Alan Duncan, told the Guardian that his former boss now had a “big question mark over his head”, adding Johnson had shown a “lack of discipline” throughout his career.
Among all voters, Hunt is now the preferred candidate to become prime minister, according to the Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, as Johnson suffered a seven per cent decline in support.
He also saw his lead over Hunt with conservative voters reduced from 27 per cent to nine per cent since Friday.
But it is the party’s 160,000 members who will have the final say, and their support appeared uncompromising for Johnson, during the first day of “hustings”; internal party debates to decide the new leader in Birmingham, central England, on Saturday.
The crowd was said to have given Johnson a standing ovation during the meeting.