LONDON (Reuters) – British police were called to the home of Boris Johnson, the favourite to be the next prime minister, after neighbours heard a loud altercation between him and his girlfriend.
Boris Johnson, leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister, leaves a hustings event in London, Britain, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
The police were called in the early hours of Friday to an address in south London where Johnson is living with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds. Johnson is currently divorcing his second wife.
“The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour,” the police said in a statement issued on Friday evening. “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,” the statement said.
A spokesman for Johnson declined repeated requests for comment. Symonds could not be reached for comment.
The Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story, said an unidentified neighbour had heard a woman screaming followed by “slamming and banging”. At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.
Despite a series of scandals in the past and criticism about his attention to detail, Brexit supporter Johnson has dominated the race to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.
After a series of ballots to whittle down the race to two candidates, 160,000 Conservative Party members will now chose either Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt as their next leader – and thus the next prime minister.
A neighbour of Johnson told the Guardian newspaper that they had recorded the altercation from inside their flat out of concern for Symonds.
The Guardian said it had reviewed the recording and that Johnson could be heard refusing to leave the flat and using a swear word to tell Symonds to get off his laptop. Crashing sounds can also be heard, the newspaper said.
Reuters has not reviewed the audio.
Symonds is heard saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine, according to the Guardian’s account.
“You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything,” Symonds is quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Another neighbour interviewed by the BBC confirmed the argument and said she had heard a woman shouting.
Johnson, 55, who served as London mayor for eight years, has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Gareth Jones