Thursday, June 20

Johnson poll leads vanish after row



Boris Johnson’s poll ratings have suffered a major slump following the loud altercation with his girlfriend, as voters say his private life does matter in the race for No 10.

The favourite’s lead among Conservative voters has more than halved since the incident on Thursday night and rival Jeremy Hunt has snatched the lead among the wider public.

More than half of voters said Mr Johnson’s private life was relevant to his ability to be prime minister and three-quarters said a candidate’s character was relevant to the contest.

It is unusual to see a politician’s private life having this level of salience among voters, said Damian Lyons Lowe, chief executive of pollsters Survation.

Mr Johnson has refused to give an explanation for the banging and screaming heard at the flat he shares with Carrie Symonds, despite it casting a shadow over his bid for No.10.

Instead, Mr Johnson insisted an audience of Conservative members at the first hustings of the Tory leadership race wanted to what my plans are for my country and for the party.

I don’t think they want to hear about that kind of thing, the former foreign secretary claimed, speaking in Birmingham.

Tom Penn said he had recorded the altercation from within his own home after collecting a food delivery at his front door.

After a loud scream and banging, followed by silence, I ran upstairs, and with my wife agreed that we should check on our neighbours, he said.

I knocked three times at their front door, but there was no response. I went back upstairs into my flat, and we agreed that we should call the police.

The police arrived within five minutes. Our call was made anonymously and no names were given to the police. They subsequently called back to thank us for reporting, and to let us know that nobody was harmed.

Meanwhile, the neighbour who alerted police, and The Guardian, to the incident has defended his actions, saying political leaders must be held accountable for all of their words, actions and behaviours.