Boris Johnson and his girlfriend have fled their home following the bust-up that has dented his hopes of becoming prime minister.
With anarchists now camped outside the flat, he and Carrie Symonds, 31, have decided to go into hiding.
Friends of the former foreign secretary say it may be impossible for him to return to the £700,000 property in Camberwell, south London. One said the couple had spent the weekend together and their ‘loving and doting’ relationship was ‘stronger than ever’.
Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds (pictured) have fled their home following the bust-up that has dented his hopes of becoming prime minister
Mr Johnson, 55, is refusing to break his silence on the domestic incident in the early hours of Friday that saw police officers called. Jeremy Hunt raised the pressure on his Tory leadership rival by saying ‘someone who wants to be prime minister should answer questions on everything’.
As MPs who are backing Mr Johnson also called for him to reveal what happened:
- It emerged that Miss Symonds was accused by a Johnson aide of helping his rival Sajid Javid;
- Supporters of Mr Johnson privately voiced concerns about his relationship with her;
- Pictures emerged of Mr Johnson buying the wine that spilled on Miss Symonds sofa, apparently sparking the row;
- His allies claimed he would call the bluff of rebel Conservative MPs threatening to bring down the Government to stop a No Deal Brexit;
- Liz Truss, a Cabinet rank ally of Mr Johnson, warned it was not inevitable that he would be crowned Tory leader.
Yesterday, anarchists perched themselves on the steps of Miss Symonds’ flat to protest against her lover and his party’s policies. Six Class War supporters shouted abuse and held up posters reading ‘f*** Boris, f*** the government’.
Camberwell residents have also shown their distaste at having Mr Johnson as their neighbour and posters mocking him were put up before Friday’s altercation.
He stayed out of the spotlight yesterday as his campaign team held talks on how to deal with the crisis.
Mr Johnson, 55, (pictured with girlfriend Ms Symonds in March) is refusing to break his silence on the domestic incident in the early hours of Friday that saw police officers called
A friend of Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds told the Mail: ‘They’ve spent the weekend together after being driven out of their home in Camberwell and actually the events of the past few days have made them stronger than ever but they really shouldn’t have to put up with this nonsense. They’re in a very loving and stable relationship. They totally dote on one another.’
The domestic dispute was recorded by a neighbour and reported to police.
Neighbours claimed Miss Symonds could be heard screaming and telling Mr Johnson to ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’.
Sources last night claimed that in recent weeks there had been tensions between Miss Symonds and members of Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign team. In a sign of the acrimony, one aide who is working for Mr Johnson told friends they believed she had been helping Mr Javid, the Home Secretary, with his failed leadership bid.
The couple who recorded the row and shared it with The Guardian newspaper – Eve Leigh (pictured) and Tom Penn – were also not home yesterday. Pictured: Eve leaving her Camberwell home a week before the recording was released
A MP who is backing Mr Johnson said it was ‘probably best’ for the couple to decide whether or not to get married. ‘A decision needs to be made,’ the MP added.
A source involved in Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign said: ‘The bigger worry is that this brings his personal life into play more generally. Things that might previously have been seen as ‘not relevant’ or ‘not in scope’ suddenly become fair game.
‘Some MPs have been worried about Carrie, but I think she’s politically savvy enough to know how to play things without causing damage to Boris.’
Anarchist circus at Boris’ flat: Protesters urge PM hopeful to move to a posher part of the capital as marijuana-smoking neighbour defends him as ‘cool-guy’
By Jim Norton, Jemma Carr and Jemma Buckley for the Daily Mail
The street outside Boris Johnson’s love nest descended into a circus at the weekend as campaigners swooped in.
Simmering discontent among residents at their new neighbour exploded into the open after news broke of Mr Johnson’s angry row with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
Posters were plastered across railings opposite the South London flat mocking the Tory leadership contender, with one urging him to move back to a swankier part of the capital.
The street outside Boris Johnson’s love nest descended into a circus at the weekend as campaigners swooped in. The group from Class War arrived at the apartment claiming Johnson wasn’t even fit to be a ‘Pie Minister’ and held up signs that read ‘F**k Boris. F**k the government’
Anarchists stood on the steps of the building carrying posters and shouting. Seemingly using the incident as an excuse to protest against the Conservative party, one veteran warned the couple would ‘regret’ moving to the area.
Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds, 31, have not been seen at the Grade II listed building since police were called in the early hours of Friday.
The couple who recorded the row and shared it with The Guardian newspaper – Eve Leigh and Tom Penn – were also not home yesterday. Miss Leigh has admitted making an offensive gesture at Mr Johnson when they met on the steps of their building last week.
But neighbour Wayne Moseley, 47, defended the politician, saying he was a ‘cool guy’ who would chat on the steps while Mr Moseley smoked cannabis.
The film director – who goes by the name Yuppie Wayne – even criticised his neighbours for recording the argument.
Describing Mr Penn as a ‘peaceful guy’, he added: ‘I’ll be honest with you, neighbour to neighbour, no I don’t think it was very fair.
‘We all have domestic arguments with our partners.’ Describing how he would see Mr Johnson ‘all the time’, he said ‘I’ve met him on the doorstep, when I’m smoking my marijuana out here. I thought he was a cool guy.’
He said Mr Johnson had never said anything regarding him smoking cannabis and that he had never offered him any.
Six members of the anti-establishment group – including veteran protester Ian Bone, once described as ‘The Most Dangerous Man in Britain’ – turned up outside the Grade II Listed building just before 2pm today. One protester held up a scrawled upon pillow case which read ‘Camberwell welcomes migrants not Boris’
He said that Miss Symonds was a ‘nice girl, a pretty girl’. Mr Moseley recently sparked a police response after shooting a scene involving two fake guns with a millionaire former Big Brother housemate.
He spoke out as six anarchists from the anti-establishment group Class War staged a protest outside the flat. Standing outside the front door behind a banner, veteran anarchist Ian Bone, 71, called on Mr Johnson to come out, shouting ‘Looks like Boris is moving out anyway, can’t take the pressure’.
When asked whether his actions may drive a 31-year-old woman out of her flat, he said: ‘I don’t think she will come back – they will regret moving here and not Notting Hill or somewhere like that.
Local Kirstie Lamont stood outside Miss Symonds’s flat yesterday holding a poster with a picture. When asked whether she thought the posters would make Miss Symonds feel uncomfortable living in her flat Ms Lamont said: ‘Well, move’
‘She’s not welcome here or any other working class area – and neither is he.’
The retired health worker was once arrested for public disorder after protesting outside a previous address of Mr Johnson in North London in 2016.
Another protester, who gave her name as Sorcha, has lived in the area nearly thirty years and said: ‘Refugees and migrants are welcome, Boris isn’t.’ Residents along the leafy street have also shown their distaste at having Mr Johnson as a neighbour.
Class War tweeted a picture of Ms Symonds’s front door plastered in ‘F*** Boris’ stickers the day before her row with Johnson
Kirstie Lamont, 48, said: ‘This area is just not hostile. We probably wouldn’t throw yoghurt on him if he walked by. But we wouldn’t be inviting him around for dinner.’
When asked if the posters could make Miss Symonds feel unwelcome, she said: ‘Well, move. Sorry, that does sound very aggressive. Kensington and Chelsea, that’s more the area that he belongs.’
Another local resident – who was attending a dog show on the green opposite – said: ‘This is a pretty gentrified area, we’re all liberal here, so he doesn’t really fit in. I understand he’s just going to his girlfriend’s house, but the posters show he’s not exactly welcome.’
Class war anarchists descend on Boris and Carrie’s flat as it emerges she’s ‘too afraid to return’ after anti-Brexit neighbours called police on them and handed row recording to newspaper
By Bridie Pearson-Jones and Isabella Nikolic for the MailOnline
Anarchists staged a protest today outside the flat of Boris Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds after the 31-year-old said she is ‘too scared to return home’ following the furore that erupted over her row with him.
The protesters were from Class War and included Ian Bone, 71, who was once described as ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ and recently faced criticism after accosting Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children.
It comes after a recording of the couple having a ‘plate smashing screaming row’ was handed to the police and the Guardian newspaper by their ardent Remainer neighbours Eve Leigh, 34, and Tom Penn, 30.
The group from Class War arrived at the apartment and held up signs that read ‘F**k Boris. F**k the government’.
Today, Ms Symonds described the recordings, which hear her telling the Tory frontrunner, 55, ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’, as a as a ‘political stitch-up’.
Anarchists staged a protest today outside the flat where police were called following a row between Boris Johnson and his girlfriend. Leading the group was Ian Bone (back right) veteran protester who is known for accosting Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children
Signs up in the South London neighbour read ‘We’d rather endure him as our neighbour than our Prime Minster’ urged people stop Boris from getting the keys to 10 Downing Street
Members of the anti-establishment group – including veteran protester Bone turned up outside the Grade II Listed building just before 2pm today.
Bone who walks with a stick, garnered media attention last year when he told Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s young children ‘your daddy’s a horrible person’.
Two people stood on the steps outside Ms Symonds’s £750,000 Camberwell flat holding up a banner that read: ‘We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live.’
The banner was emblazoned with the logo of anarchist group Class War – an organisation that originally started as a paper in 1982 but expanded into a political movement.
Quoting radical socialist Lucy Parsons, the poster seemed designed to intimidate – featuring a large skull and crossbones and two anarchy symbols.
One of the Class War mob – holding a sign that read ‘Camberwell welcomes migrants not Boris’ – said she would be happy for the Tory leadership candidate to ‘leave the planet’.
Asked if Johnson is fit to be Prime Minister, Bone said: ‘He certainly ain’t – he ain’t even fit to be a Pie Minister.’
Coming down from the steps outside the flat, he said: ‘We’ve had enough of old Etonians running the country. They’re all a cabinet of old Etonians. Why we put up with it I don’t know.’
‘I want Boris out of Camberwell’ she said.
‘We don’t need old middle class white men telling us what to do.
‘Go back to Eton or Highgate or wherever it is white middle class men come from.
‘I’m not asking for segregation, I’m asking Boris to f*** off out of Camberwell.’
She added: ‘People who preach hate speech are not welcome in our community.
Speaking at a hustings in Birmingham on Saturday, Boris Johnson did not mention the issue in his opening comments, insisting: ‘We need to get Brexit done… and I am the right man’
Carrie Symonds (pictured at his leadership launch earlier this month) is struggling after receiving hate mail at her flat in Camberwell, south London
‘The policies he’s going to put in are racist policies.
‘I’m not angry with Boris for what he’s says, I’m angry at Boris because he exists: the fact that the likes of him tell us what to do and how to do it.’
Leader of the group Bone added: ‘No more old Etonians, no more feudal aristocracy.
‘Come on out Boris! We know you’re hiding under your f***ing chaise lounge.
‘We’ve had enough of old Etonians, f*** off!’
He added: ‘Boris, when you look out of your window we’ll be there.
Local Jordana Leighton designed the posters which have been plastered around Camberwell Green that say ‘We’d rather endure him as our neighbour than our Prime Minister’
‘When you look down the street, we’ll be there.’
Coming down from the steps outside the flat, and repeating his disregard for so-called toffs Bone continued: ‘We’ve had enough of old Etonians running the country.
‘They’re all a cabinet of old Etonians. Why we put up with it I don’t know.
Tory MPs fear Boris could be ousted on first day at No. 10
A Boris Johnson government could be toppled on his very first day in Downing Street, senior Tory figures have warned.
If the former London Mayor wins the leadership contest, No 10 expects Jeremy Corbyn to call an immediate no-confidence vote in the Commons in an effort to bring down his embryonic administration.
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis and members of the backbench 1922 Committee are understood to have expressed the fear that Mr Johnson would lose the vote, given that the party has a working majority of just four MPs and remains hopelessly split over Brexit.
If a new government, either Tory or Labour, cannot subsequently be formed within 14 days, then a General Election would be triggered.
No 10 has warned party whips that the no-confidence vote could be called as soon as Theresa May leaves office, which is expected to be on July 24. But the party’s factions show no signs of coming together if Mr Johnson takes over.
‘On the day Boris is declared Prime Minister there’ll be a blockade at Downing Street to stop him getting in or round to see the Queen..’
Asked if Johnson is fit to be Prime Minister, Bone said: ‘He certainly ain’t – he ain’t even fit to be a Pie Minister.’
The protesters moved on after about 20 minutes.
Class War tweeted a picture of Ms Symonds’s front door plastered in ‘F*** Boris’ stickers the day before her row with Johnson.
Alongside the picture they wrote: ‘Oh dear, someone’s stuck CW stickers all over Boris’ front door!’
Johnson and Ms Symonds have not been seen at the flat since police were called there in the early hours of Friday.
In September last year Bone faced criticism for accosting Jacob Rees-Mogg’s children.
He told them: ‘Your daddy’s a horrible person.
‘A lot of people don’t like your daddy, you know that. No he’s probably not told you about that.’
The father-of-five added: ‘A lot of people hate him.’
Bone refused to apologise or answer whether he would have felt he had been hassled by someone if they had done the same thing to him when his children were young.
Local Kirstie Lamont, stood outside Miss Symonds’s flat yesterday holding up the posters that have been plastered around Camberwell Green.
One was even placed on Johnson’s car, next to two parking tickets.
The posters, emblazoned with stars from the EU flag and a picture of Johnson’s face, read: ‘We’d rather endure him as our neighbour than our Prime Minister’.
Speaking yesterday Ms Lamont said: ‘Labour could all be dead and we’d still vote for them.’
When asked whether she thought the posters would make Ms Symonds feel uncomfortable living in her flat Ms Lamont said: ‘Well, move. Kensington and Chelsea is much more their kind of place.’
Last night, a friend of Johnson and Ms Symonds told the Mail on Sunday: ‘Carrie really doesn’t feel safe in her own home anymore with anti-Boris leaflets and posters stuck up on the road, hand-delivered hate mail and now her private conversations being taped through the walls.’
It came as:
- Boris refused to respond to questions about the incident at a Tory hustings in Birmingham
- Jeremy Hunt’s allies claimed Mr Johnson’s personal life was a ‘security risk’
- Tory MPs fear Boris could be ousted on his first day at No.10 if Jeremy Corbyn calls for a vote of no confidence
- Polls have shown he is still 22 points clear of Hunt among grass-root Tories but behind his rival among all voters
Not only did the couple record the altercation, it also emerged yesterday they took the trouble to record police officers at the scene – and take down the registration numbers of their cars, all of which they passed to the Guardian.
Bone, 71, who walks with a stick, said: ‘I’m not angry with Boris for what he’s says, I’m angry at Boris because he exists: the fact that the likes of him tell us what to do and how to do it’
According to the Sun, a member of Johnson’s camp said: ‘She and Boris will not be going back there as they are too worried about the hostility they faced.
‘Carrie is now really frightened and cannot believe this has happened over such a minor matter.’
Johnson has not yet made any public comment over the recording, and bluntly refused to answer questions at Tory hustings,earlier this week.
The former London Mayor is facing off against Jeremy Hunt to become Tory leader and Prime Minister.
Today, Hunt insisted he was ‘auditioning to be PM’ and had to answer questions on ‘everything’.
Interviewed on Sky News as he campaigned in Scotland today, Hunt said: ‘What Boris needs to do is engage properly in this leadership debate…
‘This is an audition to be PM of the UK and Boris needs to show he is prepared to answer difficult questions.’
He added: ‘I think someone who wants to be PM should answer questions on everything.’
Bone (pictured outside Ms Symonds front door, back right) said: ‘Come on out Boris! We know you’re hiding under your f***ing chaise lounge. ‘We’ve had enough of old Etonians, f*** off!’
Mr Hunt insisted he would not comment on Mr Johnson’s private life, but complained he was ‘refusing to have serious debate… refusing to be scrutinised’.
Team Hunt also turned the screw on Mr Johnson in the wake of the extraordinary episode at the flat owned by girlfriend Carrie Symonds, 31 – suggesting he could be open to manipulation and even blackmail.
The backlash came as a survey found his standing among Tory activists has taken a serious hit, with four weeks to go until the successor to Theresa May is declared.
Trade Secretary Liam Fox – a supporter of Mr Hunt – said it would be ‘easier’ if he spoke frankly on the issue.
Asked about the bust-up, Dr Fox said the focus should be on policy, but told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘It’s always easier to just give an explanation.’
Former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind also waded into the row, saying Mr Johnson risked looking like he had something to hide.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘If you are a candidate to be prime minister and the police have been called to your house – fairly or unfairly – 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.
‘All he could have said, quite reasonably, would have been that in all relationships there are occasionally outbursts of anger and disagreement.’
Guardianista neighbours in £720,000 flat next to Carrie Symonds’
Remain-backing playwrights Eve Leigh and Tom Penn do not look out of place in trendy Camberwell, but last night they were branded ‘neighbours from hell’ by a Johnson-supporting Tory MP.
After the pair admitted their role in briefing The Guardian about Carrie Symonds’ and Boris Johnson’s nocturnal activities, allies and friends of Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds pointed to their neighbours’ anti-Brexit sentiment and ‘hatred’ of the Tory Party.
Ms Leigh is the daughter of multi-millionaire musical theatre producer Mitch Leigh. A successful writer, she was the star of a theatre project called Brexit Stage Left, which received financial backing from Eurodram, a cultural campaign funded with Brussels cash.
Eurodram’s website reveals it is ‘co-funded by the Creative European Programme of the European Union’.
The event in January described itself as a ‘festival of staged readings of provocative cutting-edge plays from across the EU’. The former palm-reader bought her luxurious flat above Carrie Symonds’ apartment for £720,000 in April last year.
In March this year, she married her partner Tom.
Last night he confirmed that he had backed Remain in the EU referendum, but insisted that had nothing to do with the weekend’s events.
Ms Leigh was described by one interviewer as an ‘American Leftist Buddhist Jewish playwright.’
Her religious outlook influenced the theme of her most recent play, The Trick, which tackles the topics of ageing and coping with grief. However, it received mixed reviews from critics.
The Evening Standard called it ‘a mystifying muddle’ and said ‘it’s all increasingly wearisome’.
The Guardian gave it two stars and said it was ‘overbearing in its manipulative attempts to make us feel sad’.
Other work by the playwright includes ‘a documentary audio piece about childhood, told through the prism of a Bulgarian borstal’.
Mr Penn has yet to match his wife’s levels of fame or critical attention in the theatre world.