Boris Johnson appeared as if he may have left the house in a hurry this morning, sporting one inside-out sock as he spoke at hustings in Birmingham.
Poking out from his brogues the patterned sock marked the return of the famously unkempt Mr Johnson – a day after neighbour’s reports of an explosive row saw police called to the South London flat he shares with his girlfriend.
Speculation over a new sharper image for Mr Johnson emerged after he began living with girlfriend and ex-conservative communications manager Carrie Symonds.
Mr Johnson turned up for his first Tory hustings today with his socks apparently on inside out
The glamorous PR executive who friends describe as brilliant and ambitious, is credited with having transforming Mr Johnson’s public image over the past months.
Under her direction, his famous blond mane has been cropped, he has lost weight and his trademark dishevelled appearance has been replaced by a sharp-suited image in the run up to the Tory leadership race.
But today as Miss Symonds was absent from the Hustings in Birmingham, Mr Johnson’s considered image seemed to hit a bump in the road.
With one paisley patterned sock inside out Boris avoided questions about the row at his girlfriend’s house on Friday morning.
The dead bat response drew cheers from the audience – who also started booing when Dale tried to push further
Speaking at a hustings in Birmingham today, Boris Johnson did not mention the issue in his opening comments, insisting: ‘We need to get Brexit done… and I am the right man.’
Broadcaster Iain Dale, hosting the event, said to Mr Johnson: ‘They [the public] want to know why the police were called to your house in the early hours of Friday morning. If the police are called to your home it is important. A lot of people in politics do call into question your character.’
Mr Johnson replied: ‘I don’t think people want to hear about that kind of thing’, and refused to answer the question five times in total.
Mr Johnson admitted the public was ‘entitled to know about my determination and character’. But he added: ‘Let me tell you that when I make a promise in politics about what I want to do I keep that promise.’
Meanwhile Jeremy Hunt did not make any comment on the incident when he was quizzed at the hustings and played it safe with plain black socks as he gave his pitch.
The Tory leadership hopeful and possible future prime minister shares the home with his partner Carrie Symonds (Pictured at his leadership launch earlier this month)
The couple pictured together in London on January 18, for the first time after Mr Johnson’s second marriage ended following rumours of a relationship with Miss Symonds
Police were called to the £1m Camberwell, South London, flat after the couple were recorded by neighbours having a ‘plate-smashing, screaming row’ during which Miss Symonds demanded he leave.
Two police cars and a van arrived within minutes, shortly after midnight, but left after receiving reassurances from both the individuals in the flat that they were ‘safe and well’.
In the wake of the controversy Miss Symonds ‘liked’ a tweet stating ‘we must have have entertainment at number 10’ – seemingly making light of the extraordinary incident.
But she was nowhere to be seen at the hustings this afternoon, despite attending his campaign launch earlier this month.
Miss Symonds is claimed to be heard screaming ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’ during a terrifying bust-up with Mr Johnson.
Carrie comes from a successful background, her father Matthew Symonds was co-founder of The Independent newspaper and her mother Josephine Mcaffee a successful media lawyer.
Boris Johnson is pictured leaving the flat he shares with Carrie Symonds in Camberwell on Friday morning. Neighbours called police to the south London flat after hearing a loud altercation between Mr Johnson and his 31-year-old lover
Miss Symonds is said to have been heard screaming at Mr Johnson to get out of the flat in a Victorian House in Camberwell, south London that she bought last year and lives in with her lover (pictured)
The couple currently divide their time between her London flat and home in Oxfordshire, but friends expect Carrie to move into No 10 should Boris win the leadership race.
‘Despite the age gap it is a proper love match,’ said one. ‘When they met it was very much a meeting of minds. Carrie is incredibly quick and funny.
‘He found her brilliant. She is passionately pro-animal welfare and pro-environment, and Boris really loves that about her.’
Sources say Carrie’s ability to effortlessly combine the intense focus required to win a fiercely fought leadership campaign with a playful sense of fun has rubbed off on Boris, bringing a competency that his political operation once lacked.
Earlier this month she attended his leadership launch, prompting speculation she hopes to move into Number 10 if he succeeds in his bid for power.
He is also said to be hoping to marry Miss Symonds once his divorce to Marina Wheeler, with whom he has four children, has been finalised.