Boris Johnson is urged to come clean on ‘screaming row’ with girlfriend as Team Hunt warns the Tory favourite’s torrid love life makes him a SECURITY RISK – and poll finds the extraordinary bust-up HAS hit his leadership hopes
- Boris Johnson has been hot favourite to win the Conservative leadership contest
- Front runner facing storm over blazing row with girlfriend Carrie Symonds, 31
- Allies of Mr Hunt suggested his volatile love life makes him a security risk
Boris Johnson was urged to come clean over the ‘screaming row’ with his girlfriend today – as he faces damaging claims his torrid love life makes him a security risk.
Allies of rival Jeremy Hunt turned the screw on Mr Johnson in the wake of the extraordinary episode by suggesting he could be open to manipulation and even blackmail.
And Mr Johnson’s team will be alarmed by a survey finding his standing among Tory activists has taken a serious hit, with four weeks to go until the successor to Theresa May is declared.
Mr Johnson came under increasing pressure today to explain what happened at the flat owned by girlfriend Carrie Symonds in the early hours of Friday morning.
After Mr Johnson bluntly refused to answer questions at hustings, Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it would be ‘easier’ if he spoke frankly on the issue.
A poll has also found the ‘screaming row’ with his girlfriend has damaged his Toy leadership hopes.
Allies of rival Jeremy Hunt turned the screw on Boris Johnson (pictured at hustings in Birmingham yesterday) in the wake of the extraordinary episode by suggesting he could be open to manipulation and even blackmail
Mr Hunt has made no secret that he hopes to make the head-to-head Tory leadership battle against Mr Johnson all about character
The couple were recorded by neighbours having a ‘plate-smashing, screaming row’ at the home in Camberwell.
Sturgeon gloats as poll find PM Boris could fuel Scottish independence
Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said Boris Johnson would be a ‘disaster’
Nicola Sturgeon gloated that Boris Johnson will be a ‘disaster’ for the Tories today – as a poll found Scots could vote for independence.
The SNP leader delivered a withering assessment of the would-be PM, saying he would ‘damage the UK’s reputation’.
The attack came after a Panelbase poll found Mr Johnson taking charge at Downing Street could put the union at risk.
A narrow majority of 51 per cent would currently vote no to independence, according to the research.
But when people were asked for their intentions if Mr Johnson becomes premier, the proportion against would drop to 47 per cent.
Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘He will be devastating, disastrous for the Conservatives UK-wide.’
She said: ‘Brexit has damaged the UK’s international reputation but close behind that, Boris Johnson’s tenure has damaged the UK’s reputation…
‘I find it quite hard to get my head around that knowing everything they know about him, they are contemplating putting him in No10.’
Miss Symonds, 31, reportedly screamed ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’ during the bust-up with Mr Johnson. Police were called, but no formal action was taken.
But she was nowhere to be seen at the hustings, despite attending his campaign launch earlier this month.
Mr Hunt has made no secret that he hopes to make the head-to-head Tory leadership battle against Mr Johnson all about character.
And his supporters went a step further, with a senior cabinet minister describing Mr Johnson as a security risk.
He made the comments in conversation with another cabinet minister, who relayed them to the Sunday Times.
‘There will be things in his private life that we don’t know about,’ the minister is reported as saying.
‘There’s the danger that people leak what they have over him or blackmail him with it.’
Asked about the situation today, 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.’
Dr Fox denied he was the minister who made the security risk remark, and also said he was not concerned about it.
‘Boris has been the foreign secretary, who is in charge of MI6 as an example,’ he said.
Mr Johnson’s close ally Liz Truss, a Treasury minister, told the BBC Radio 5’s Pienaar’s Politics: ‘There’s no point in asking me, I believe it’s a private matter…
‘People know what he’s like in office and that’s what’s important.’
One Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday was taken before news broke of Friday’s dramatic incident gave Mr Johnson an eight percentage point advantage over Mr Hunt among all voters.
But another survey by the firm yesterday found that had turned into a three point deficit.
Among Tory voters, Mr Johnson’s lead as the man who would make the best Prime Minister more than halved over the period, from a 27-point lead to just 11.
Meanwhile, senior Tories have warned a government led by Mr Johnson could be toppled on his very first day in Downing Street.
Asked about the situation today, Liam 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.’
Two exclusive surveys by this newspaper – one taken before and the other after news broke of Friday’s dramatic incident – found that Mr Johnson’s lead of eight per cent on Thursday had turned into a three per cent deficit yesterday among all voters
If the former London Mayor wins the leadership contest, No10 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.