"No." That was the response from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson when asked Monday about a groping allegation made against him on Sunday. The allegation comes from Sunday Times columnist Charlotte Edwardes, who "recalls a scandalous encounter with the prime minister ... on the second anniversary of #MeToo" as the subhead of her Sunday article proclaimed. In the piece, Edwardes alleges that Johnson, then-editor of the Spectator magazine, squeezed her thigh at a 1999 luncheon—seizing "enough inner flesh beneath his fingers" to make her "sit upright"—and did something similar to the woman sitting on his other side. The AP reports Edwardes was working for the Spectator at the time.
On Sunday, a rep for No. 10 said "this allegation is untrue," per the Guardian. Edwardes' response on Twitter: "If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does." Reuters reports that when pressed in a TV interview Monday as to whether Edwardes' account was fabricated, Johnson said, "I'm just saying what I said, and I think what the public want to hear is what we are doing for them and the country and for investment in ways of uniting the country." (This follows a series of news reports about his relationship with American tech entrepreneur and model Jennifer Arcuri.)