Boris Johnson says Conservatives don't want to hear why police were called to home he shares with girlfriend
'No offences or concerns apparent,' police said after neighbour recorded Johnson and girlfriend Carrie Symonds
Boris Johnson, the favourite to become the next Conservative leader and U.K. prime minister, said Saturday that party members were not interested in why police were called to investigate concerns for the welfare of a woman at the home they share.
Early on Friday, British police were called to Johnson's home after neighbours heard a loud altercation between Johnson and his girlfriend.
Johnson declined to answer questions about the incident when he appeared at a hustings event in Birmingham in central England, saying party members would rather hear about his plans for Britain than about the incident.
"I don't think [audience members] want to hear about that kind of thing, unless I'm wrong," Johnson said when asked about the incident, to applause from the audience.
"I think what they want to hear is what my plans are for the country and for my party."
Police had been called to an address in south London where Johnson is living with Carrie Symonds. Johnson is currently divorcing his second wife.
"The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour," the police said in a statement on Friday evening. "Police attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well."
"There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers, and there was no cause for police action," the statement said.
Symonds could not be reached for comment.
'Slamming and banging' heard
The Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story, said an unidentified neighbour had heard a woman screaming followed by "slamming and banging." At one point, Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat."
Despite a series of scandals in the past and criticism about his attention to detail, Brexit supporter Johnson has dominated the race to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.
After several ballots to whittle down the race to two candidates, 160,000 Conservative members will now choose either Johnson or Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt as their next leader — and thus the next prime minister.
At the event in Birmingham, Johnson said people had a right to ask questions about his character, said that his record in office showed he had the right character to be prime minister.
Neighbour recorded altercation out of concern
Johnson, 55, who served as London mayor for eight years, has cast himself as the only candidate who can deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 while fighting off the electoral threats of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.
A neighbour told the Guardian the altercation from inside the flat was recorded out of concern for Symonds.
The Guardian said it had reviewed the recording and Johnson could be heard refusing to leave the flat and using a swear word to tell Symonds to get off his laptop. Crashing sounds can also be heard, the newspaper said.
Reuters has not reviewed the audio.
Symonds is heard saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine, according to the Guardian's account.
"'You just don't care for anything because you're spoilt. You have no care for money or anything," Symonds is quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Hunt focuses on Brexit talk
Also on Saturday, on the Brexit front, Johnson's opponent Hunt said he would take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31 if the EU had not showed it was willing to renegotiate the Brexit deal.
"If we got to the 31st of October, and the EU have not shown the willingess to negotiate a better deal ... then my judgment is that weighing those difficult options up, the political risk of no Brexit is far worse than the economic risk of no deal," Hunt said at a leadership hustings event in Birmingham, central England.
"I would take us out of the European Union in that situation."