BORIS Johnson today refused to deny that “loved up” photos of him with girlfriend Carrie Symonds were six weeks old and staged.
The frontrunner to become Tory leader dodged questions several times and said that he did not easily get angry as he launched a huge media blitz to prove he isn’t hiding from the public.
Last week Boris’ campaign was rocked with the news that cops were called to the flat he shared with girlfriend Carrie Symonds after a blazing row was heard by neighbours.
Carrie was heard shouting “get off me” and “get out of my flat” during the row.
In an interview with LBC this morning Boris said “of course” his private life would be of interest to the public but refused to comment on the photos which showed the pair engaged in an intimate discussion in the countryside.
It was put to Boris that the pictures may have been six weeks old and taken before the row took place.
LBC host Nick Ferrari said to him: “This is quite an old picture, isn’t it?”
Eagle-eyed onlookers noticed that Boris’ hair looked considerably longer in the photograph which was revealed yesterday, compared to snaps of him taken at the Tory hustings on Saturday – leading to speculation it was from another point in their relationship.
“There are all sorts of pictures of me out there on the internet, which pop up from time to time.” Boris said this morning.
“It’s entirely up to newspapers to print what they want. It’s not a state secret, it just happens to be something I don’t want to get into.”
When he was asked whether he would say if the pictures were old or not, he replied: “No! Why should I?”
When pressed on why his haircut appeared different in the pictures yesterday, he said: “This conversation is descending into farce… this is beyond satire.”
But hitting back at the neighbours who recorded the row, Boris said he would never do such a thing.
He said: “I cannot imagine the circumstances in which I would ever do so.”
However, in a show of unity yesterday they were pictured looking close and “in love” as they were seen holding hands in a garden.
Carrie has branded the whole thing a “stitch up” and has felt unable to return to her home in South London since the row.
Protesters have lined the streets outside too holding anti-Boris photos.
And speaking to talkRADIO’s Ross Kempsell this morning Boris said: “I’m a pretty, even tempered kind of guy. I don’t easily get angry.”
Boris also set out his plans for Brexit in more detail, vowing no more extensions past October 31 and to go for No Deal if he had to.
It’s not a state secret, it just happens to be something I don’t want to get into
Boris Johnson on his relationship
In the revealing interviews Boris also:
- Vowed to leave the EU before October no matter what it takes and ruled out any more extensions
- Insisted he would plug more money into police to fund 20,000 more officers
- Waded into the row about LGBT relationships and said Britain was a country where people love who they want and teachers should teach it to kids
- Vowed that only he had the optimism to drive through Brexit
- Said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was “wrong” about being able to continue to trade freely with the EU after Brexit as we do now
- Claimed he paints models of buses in his spare time – and once fell asleep at the cricket
He said: “It is time this country stopped being so down about its ability to get things thing done.
“I offer the ability to change the equation and not to continue with the old failed approach.”
Meanwhile No10 confirmed that the PM will officially stand down after PMQs on July 24th – a day after the country finds out whether Boris or Jeremy Hunt will be the next Tory leader.
His rival Jeremy Hunt would “simply kick the can down the road”, he stressed, and delay Brexit yet again.
Boris said Mark Carney was “wrong” if he thinks Britain can’t use an obscure trade rule to continue free trading after a No Deal Brexit.
“He’s wrong in thinking this is not an option,” he said.
“GATT 24 par 5b makes it perfectly clear that two countries that in the process of beginning a FTA may protract the existing arrangement until such time as they have completed the new free trade agreement, that’s a very hopeful prospect.
“That is the way forward.”
Separately, Boris was filmed saying at a garden party that the NHS needs more cash and more reform – in a swipe at his ex-health secretary rival Mr Hunt.
“It needs more money but where you are absolutely right is that it needs reform,” he said in a hint of a huge shake-up when he gets into No10.
The frontrunner has made a series of public appearances on the campaign trail today as he tries to shift the focus from his row with his girlfriend where the police were called.
Yesterday a debate with Sky scheduled for tonight was called off as Boris refused to come.
His rival Jeremy Hunt has demanded he come and face the music with more live debates and media interviews.
So far Boris’ strategy has been to lie low and ride out the campaign to avoid any gaffes or hiccups.
Boris’ body language is awkward and reserved but he’s ready to fight back, expert reveals
BORIS’ body language is like an “awkward school boy” and “out of his comfort zone” but is ready to start the fight back, a body language expert has revealed.
Jo Hemmings told The Sun Online that Boris was looking anxious and forced on his first real campaigning day of the leadership race, but towards the end of the day he picked up confidence and gathered momentum.
The Tory frontrunner was snapped earlier today out and about with voters in South London and Surrey.
He had afternoon tea, went door-knocking and was seen getting a kiss from a cute pooch.
And after he refused yet again to discuss his private relationship with girlfriend Carrie, Jo said Boris was being “secretive”.
She said: “There’s an awkwardness and lack of genuine sincerity in both his hands buried deeply in his pockets – always a sign of being secretive – and a strained half smile, indictating emotion discomfort.”
And Jo said of pictures of Boris on the trail: “They are rather like an imposter doing an impression of Boris. So they are Boris’s characteristic gestures – the ‘royal’ wave, the double thumbs up and the awkward school boy, with his hands behind his back, but the facial expressions don’t match.
“Mouth agape, like a fish struggling for air, he seems anxious and deflated rather than a confident PM in waiting.
“He’s rattled and he imagines those expansive gestures will disguise his concerns.”
In his interview with talkRADIO he was “manspreading and hunched” and appeared “tense”, she said.
The posture was a “safety anchor” to mask the “anxiety he is feeling”, Jo said.
But when he had supporters behind he he was “clearly feeling more secure”.
“He is looking more his usual casually confident self,” she said. “That statesman like wave acknowledging his support in his rather bumbling way, that we know is so familiar.
Later in the day he “regained composure and control”, Jo added.
“The big expansive gestured are closer to his face, making them seem more sincere and definitely more confident, she said.
“They are less sterotypical and more expressively genuine.”
Last night in an interview with the BBC he again refused to be drawn on the row, insisting: “I do not talk about my loved ones.”
Asked what happened in Ms Symonds’ flat, he replied: “I would love to tell you about all sorts of things Laura, but I’ve made it a rule over many, many years I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones.
“And there’s a very good reason for that. That is that, if you do, you drag them into things that really is not fair on them.
“Actually I think what people want to know is what is going on with this guy?
“Does he when it comes to trust, when it comes to character, does he deliver what he says he’s going to deliver? And that is the key thing.”
Boris defended his plan to renegotiate a deal with the EU – but admitted he couldn’t rip up all of Theresa May’s deal.
Yesterday voters in Boris’ Uxbridge constituency were still backing him for No10.
Lorraine Kimber told The Guardian: “They are out to get Boris.
“They are trying to do him down because they are desperate to stop him. He’s too intelligent for his opponent so they will resort to anything.
“I still have faith in him, that he will take us out of Europe where we will be far better off.
“He really does remind me of a young Churchill.”
But another constituent, John Hooker, urged him to come out and admit he had a row with Carrie.
“Once he does that then everyone will move on and forget about it,” he said.
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Stepping up his criticism of his rival, the Foreign Secretary has demanded Boris engage in a head to head Tory leadership debate with him to spell out his EU exit plans clearly.
Mr Hunt said: “I think it be would catastrophic for our party to have a general election before we’ve delivered Brexit.
“We would be wiped out. It’s very important Boris is honest with people, would he or would he not have a general election to force through No Deal?”
Meanwhile, Boris tax plans have been blasted by the IFS today – who say it would benefit the wealthy the most.
Only eight per cent would be helped in the short run, they said, and it would cost many billions to raise the threshold up from £50,000 to £80,000.
Mr Johnson’s proposals to shake up national insurance would help lower earners, they insisted.