Boris Johnson Brush With Police Puts Leadership Bid in Turmoil
(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson’s bid to become the U.K.’s next prime minister was thrown into turmoil after an argument with his partner prompted police to visit his London residence.
Officers were called to the home Johnson shares with Carrie Symonds shortly after midnight on Friday, six hours after he was confirmed as the front-runner in the race to succeed Theresa May.
Police said they found no cause for action as both Johnson and Symonds were safe and well after a neighbor raised concerns for her safety. But the incident dominated Saturday’s U.K. newspapers and threatened to damage Johnson’s campaign at a critical time in the Conservative Party leadership contest.
The front-runner is set to face his first public questions over the episode in front of an audience of Tory party members on Saturday. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, his only remaining rival in the contest, will also appear at the event in Birmingham, England.
Hunt wrote to Johnson on Friday evening before the altercation became public effectively accusing him of hiding from questions and avoiding media scrutiny. This latest incident will make that more difficult for the former London mayor as reporters are now staked out on his doorstep.
“Scrutiny can be uncomfortable,” Hunt wrote in the letter released to the media. ”But if we can’t handle it with friends, we won’t deserve to lead against our opponents.”