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Domestic Incident New Wrinkle in Boris Johnson's Path to PM

Rival Jeremy Hunt challenges frontrunner to talk about disturbance with girlfriend
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2019 6:21 AM CDT
Britain's Secretary of State and prime ministerial contender Jeremy Hunt address Conservative Party members during the Conservative Party leadership contest at the ICC in England's Birmingham, Britain,...   (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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(Newser) – If you've lost track of Britain's turbulent politics, the short version is this: Either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt will replace Theresa May as prime minister when the votes are counted next month. Johnson is the heavy favorite to win, though a domestic incident involving his girlfriend continues to make headlines in the UK since it surfaced Friday. Now Hunt has made it part of the race by challenging Johnson to answer questions about what happened in the early hours of Friday, reports the BBC. A candidate for prime minister "should answer questions on everything," said Hunt. He ramped up the pressure in the Times of London, writing: "Don't be a coward Boris. Man up and show the nation you can cope with the intense scrutiny the most difficult job in the country will involve."

So what did happen? Neighbors called police after overhearing what sounded like a loud, violent argument between Johnson and his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, at her South London apartment. One neighbor recorded it and shared it with the Guardian, and the newspaper reports that Symonds can be heard saying, "Get off me" and "Get out of my flat," and Johnson refusing to leave amid much shouting and what sounds like plates and other objects being smashed. Police arrived but left after talking to both, and no charges were filed. Johnson has refused to answer direct questions about the incident, saying instead, "People are entitled to ask about me and my determination, my character, and what I want to do for the country." At the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead lays out why the incident probably won't hurt Johnson's chances. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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