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US NewsTory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister

08:10  22 june  2019
08:10  22 june  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © 2019 Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Conservative leadership front runner Boris Johnson leaves his home on June 17, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The domestic disturbance at Boris Johnson's girlfriend's home could harm his chance of becoming prime minister, a senior Tory MP has warned.

Police were called to an altercation at Carrie Symond's home last night, rocking the Tory frontrunner's bid for power.

Neighbours of Miss Symonds – Mr Johnson's 31-year-old lover – called the police to her south London flat in the early hours of this morning after hearing raised voices.

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Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Pictured at 8pm, an hour after the news of a blazing bust-up at his house with his partner, Boris Johnson attended the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association Summer Drinks in Uxbridge

Miss Symonds is said to have been heard screaming and telling the 55-year-old Tory leadership favourite to 'get off me' and 'get out of my flat'.

A senior Tory MP told MailOnline the episode 'will not go down well' with Tory activists.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Boris Johnson attended the Uxbridge and South Ruislip Conservative Association Summer Drinks in Uxbridge just an hour after reports of the blazing bust-up between him and his partner 'Boris is clearly the favourite in this leadership race but four weeks is a very long time in politics,' they said.

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'He's got 16 hustings, all of which are going to be televised… a lot can change.

'I think a lot of Conservative members are waiting to see the outcome of the debates and things like that.'

The MP added: 'This might well play into their concerns about him. You are talking about Conservative Party activists… there are lots of different types of people.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited 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

'There is a lot of female membership. I'm not sure this kind of thing goes down well.'

Another Tory MP told MailOnline the revelations would be seriously damaging and gave Mr Hunt a 'big opportunity'.

'You just couldn't make it up,' they said. 'If the bulk of your members are over 60, most of them have got grandchildren, most of them have settled down, most of them are stable… the activists are going to turn around and say do we really want this guy to be PM? Anybody normal would think that.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister Police were called to an altercation at Carrie Symond's south London home last night, rocking Mr Johnson's (pictured tonight) bid for power.

'This guy is going to be PM and all this stuff is going on in his private life - how chaotic is he? If he can't hold it together at his age, what the hell is going on?'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Johnson's campaign team said they had 'no comment' to make concerning allegations that police were called to the home Mr Johnson, left, shares with Miss Symonds, right

They added: 'This will go on and on. It will damage him.'

Security Minister Ben Wallace, a close ally of Mr Johnson, came out in his defence, tweeting: 'What a non story, ''couple have a row''. Lefty neighbours give recording to Guardian. Newspaper reaches new low is a better news story.'

He later deleted the post.

And one senior MP close to Mr Johnson told the Sun: 'What the hell is he thinking? This is our worst nightmare'.

Another simply added: 'Oh f***.'

A spokesman for Mr Johnson has declined to comment on the incident but it now risks adding to concerns among some senior Tories about Mr Johnson's suitability for the highest office.

It was even reported Mr Johnson did not tell his campaign team about the incident.

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The bust-up comes after Mr Johnson today told Tory council chiefs it is 'darkest before the dawn' as he drew inspiration from Winston Churchill while making a pitch for their support.

The Tory leadership frontrunner said it was him and not his challenger Jeremy Hunt who could reverse the fortunes of the Conservative Party after it suffered a bruising set of results in the local and European elections earlier this year.

He made the comment as he and Mr Hunt formally kicked off their head-to-head battle for the keys to Downing Street as they each faced their first grilling by Tory members.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jeremy Hunt (pictured today as he attended a Local Government Association Conservative Group event in Westminster) has described himself as the 'underdog' in the race to be PM

The frontrunner and the self-described 'underdog' sought to win over Conservative local authority bosses and councillors today in what was the first of more than a dozen events in front of the party grassroots which the pair will take part in over the next month.

But it is Mr Johnson who is thought to have made the biggest impression as he quoted the British Conservative wartime prime minister who he has written books about.

'I've never known a time where we got nine per cent in a national election,' he reportedly said, according to The Sun, as he referred to the Tories' recent electoral struggles.

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Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Boris Johnson (pictured today as he left the LGA Conservative Group event) is viewed as the prohibitive front runner with his supporters believing victory is his to lose

'My message to you today is: the hour is darkest before the dawn. We can turn this thing around.'

The support of Tory local government figures will be critical to both men's hopes of victory and whoever does become PM will be reliant on them to motivate activists and knock on doors.

Meanwhile, Mr Hunt appeared to take a page out of Rory Stewart's playbook as he met voters while out on a run this morning, telling them he wanted to make the UK 'walk tall in the world' again.

He said: 'I'm the outsider but in politics upsets happen. Brexit happened. No one thought it was going to happen and I am going to make this one happen.'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Johnson was grilled by Conservative council bosses at the event in Westminster. He will face a bigger test tomorrow when he takes part in the first major hustings event in Birmingham

Mr Hunt's and Mr Johnson's appearance in front of the Local Government Association Conservative Group came after it was claimed that Mr Johnson's team had warned ministers that failing to publicly back him would destroy their careers.

One minister was warned that it would be 'a shame if you failed to make progress' by not swapping from a rival candidate quickly enough ahead of yesterday's votes which saw Mr Johnson chosen to face Mr Hunt in the final two.

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Supporters of third placed finisher Michael Gove questioned whether Mr Johnson's team arranged for some of his backers to 'lend' votes to the Foreign Secretary to ensure he got through - something it denies.

Following the elimination of Sajid Javid from the race on Thursday morning with 34 votes, at least five of the Home Secretary's supporters - Chris Philp, Chris Skidmore, Mims Davies, Kevin Foster and Mike Wood - said they would switch to Mr Johnson.

But the former foreign secretary's vote tally only increased by three in the final ballot of MPs, fuelling speculation that some of his most loyal supporters had been instructed to vote for Mr Hunt.

Mr Hunt beat Mr Gove by just two votes - the same number as were missing from the expected increase in support for the favourite.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Foreign Secretary appeared to take a page out of Rory Stewart's playbook today as he spoke to voters while out on a run this morning


While the inquest into what had happened in the final ballots continued in Westminster, Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt sought to put the controversy behind them as they got stuck in on the first day proper of the two-way fight to take over from Theresa May.

Mr Hunt started the day in Worcester where he was pictured running before going to help out at a bakery in the nearby town of Tenbury as he delivered loaves of bread and met voters.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson had celebrated making it onto the final ballot by attending a Tory event in Reading last night.

But both men came back to London as they addressed Tory councillors at a behind-closed-doors event in Westminster.

Mr Johnson went first as he was asked about building on Green Belt land, his plan for the local election sin 2020 and council funding.

Mr Hunt then faced questions on the thorny issue of adult social care, with the UK's ageing population having been blamed for the budget woes of many local authorities.

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Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The former foreign secretary (pictured today as he left the LGA event) faces a month-long battle against Jeremy Hunt in which they will take part in 16 hustings events

The pair will have plenty of opportunities to hone their answers on such topics as they face a series of 16 hustings events across the country as they try to persuade Tory members to vote for them.

The first major hustings event will take place in Birmingham tomorrow while the final one will be held in London on the evening of July 17 before a winner is announced in the week beginning July 22.

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Jeremy Hunt started his day out on the campaign trail in Worcester before returning to London for the LGA event Mr Johnson's team wanted to face mild-mannered Mr Hunt instead of Mr Gove, his former confidant turned nemesis, because they believed the former was less likely to fight dirty.

A source told MailOnline that a former supporter of Dominic Raab, who was eliminated early on in the race, was warned to fall in line behind Mr Johnson by Gavin Williamson, his campaign chief.

Mr Williamson, a former chief whip, was said to have warned them: 'If I wanted you to vote for someone else I'd tell you.'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

It came as questions were raised over the way the vote was conducted, with 90 MPs allowed to vote by 'proxy' so they could choose their candidate despite not being there in person.

Mr Johnson came first in the vote with 160. But Mr Hunt came home just two votes ahead of Mr Gove, 77 to 75.

One supporter of Mr Johnson said that the result was revenge for the way that Mr Gove had turned on him in the last leadership race in 2016, going from his chief of staff to a rival candidate.

The source told the Times: 'Gove stabbed us in the back — we've stabbed him in the front.'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Williamson, a former chief whip, was said to have warned a Dominic Raab backer: 'If I wanted you to vote for someone else I'd tell you.' The result in the fifth and final ballot came after Mr Gove had managed to finish second in the fourth round, sending shockwaves through the contest.

Mr Gove's decision to stand for the leadership in 2016 scuppered Mr Johnson's campaign and the wounds have not healed.

There was also widespread speculation - denied by Mr Johnson - that supporters of the frontrunner were being encouraged to vote tactically in order to prevent Mr Gove reaching the final ballot.

Mr Johnson supporter Johnny Mercer denied there had been dark ops taking place during the Tory leadership campaign.

He told the Today programme: 'I have to be honest, I'm pretty close to Mr Johnson and the operation and the campaign, and I just haven't seen it - I haven't seen it going on, I'm not convinced it's possible.'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Hunt (pictured today in Worcester)  is seen as a less punchy opponent for Mr Johnson in the runoff Admitting some MPs may have 'voted for different people at different times', he added: 'I don't think there's some sort of underhand operation and people like Mel Stride, who ran Michael's operation, he has accepted that as well.

'It's a great story for the media, of course, as a sort of continuation of the drama from years ago, but in reality I don't think it exists.'

But Simon Clarke, another supporter of Mr Johnson, suggested some MPs may have 'freelanced' outside the official campaign.

'I think some people might have taken it upon themselves to try and steer the outcome, ' he said.

The two final candidates will attempt to woo Tory councillors this afternoon when they separately address Conservative members of the Local Government

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Using his loaf: the Foreign Secretary helped deliver bread in Tenbury, Worcestershire today as he launched his campaign ahead of a meeting with Tory councillors in London later

Mr Gove's campaign manager Mel Stride played down the prospect of a co-ordinated vote-switching operation due to the narrow margin of the defeat.

'It doesn't seem to me on first observation of this that there has been,' he said.

'Because we didn't see a situation where, as some had speculated, a very large number of votes might have transferred from say Boris Johnson to Jeremy Hunt.

'It would appear to me everybody has behaved pretty much as one would hope they would.'

Tory MPs fear Boris' late-night bust-up - the latest saga in his volatile love life - could hurt his chances of becoming Prime Minister © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mr Hunt went on to beat Mr Gove by just two votes, the same number as were missing from the expected increase in support for Boris Johnson The battle to become Prime Minister will see the final two face a gruelling series of 16 hustings across the UK, starting in Birmingham on Saturday, and continuing up and down the country over the next month.

The final outcome of the leadership contest will not be known until the week beginning July 22, with the two remaining candidates taking part in a series of hustings in front of Tory members around the country before the votes are counted.

Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt will also take part in a head-to-head debate on ITV on July 9.

Mr Johnson's allies had been accused of plotting an 'Oxford Union knifing' and the political equivalent of 'revenge porn' as they tried to stop Mr Gove getting into the run off.

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How Boris Johnson’s Brussels years helped pave way to Brexit.
When Boris Johnson worked in Brussels a quarter of a century ago, the EU officials whom he ridiculed almost every day saw the future champion of Brexit as more of an entertainer than a threat. Pascal Lamy, chief adviser to then-European Commission president Jacques Delors, remembers that Mr Johnson’s press coverage of the EU — which regularly involved telling tall stories about Brussels’ plans — “looked so jokey, so silly, so fake”. For Bruno Dethomas, the commission’s chief spokesman at the time, Mr Johnson was “funny, he was open, he was interested. Even if he was sometimes hostile it was never systematic.

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