Boris Johnson breaks cover as fallout from 'row' with partner Carrie Symonds shows no sign of abating

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

Boris Johnson has broken cover with a visit to a bakery as the fallout from a police visit to the home the Conservative leadership candidate shares with partner Carrie Symonds showed no sign of abating.

As Mr Johnson geared up to go head to head with his challenger for the Tory crown, Jeremy Hunt, in the first run-off hustings on Saturday, questions over his private life dominated the battle for Downing Street.

Mr Johnson was seen visiting a bakery in Bicester, Oxfordshire, ahead of the hustings event but did not address the incident with Ms Symonds.

He popped into Nash's Bakery, where he donned an apron and helped behind behind the counter.

The Guardian had reported that officers were alerted early on Friday after neighbours said there had been a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.

At one point Ms Symonds was heard telling Mr Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat", The Guardian reported.

The newspaper said it had heard a recording of the incident in which Mr Johnson could allegedly be heard saying "get off my f****** laptop" before a loud crashing noise.

Boris Johnson is hoping to become leader of the Tory Party. Credit: PA

The Guardian said Ms Symonds could also be heard saying Mr Johnson had damaged a sofa with red wine.

"You just don't care for anything because you're spoilt. You have no care for money or anything," Ms Symonds is reported to have said.

Scotland Yard said they were alerted to the situation by a caller who "was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour".

The Metropolitan Police responded to a call from a local resident at 12.24am on Friday.

A neighbour, a 32-year-old nursery worker who would only give her name as Fatimah, said: “Just after midnight I heard a lady shouting, but I couldn’t make out what she said, then I heard plates and glasses smashing and things being thrown around.

“I was watching something on the television and I had to mute it because I was quite concerned, it was coming through the walls.”

Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds pictured with his dad Stanley. Credit: PA

A police spokesman said: "The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour.

"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 neighbour had knocked on the door but received no response, according to The Guardian.

The neighbour, who said they recorded the altercation from inside their home, told the newspaper: "I (was) hoping that someone would answer the door and say 'We're OK'. I knocked three times and no one came to the door."

It was also reported that the neighbour heard a sound like "smashing" plates, along with "a couple of very loud screams" and a "loud bang" which shook the house.

The revelations came as Mr Johnson prepared to face the Tory faithful with Mr Hunt at the hustings in Birmingham.

Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve has said character is relevant in the Conservative leadership race.

Mr Grieve told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think the issue of any candidate's character, standing for the leadership of a party, and aiming to be a Prime Minister is going to be relevant.

"And has to be relevant because they are going to be in a position of responsibility where they have to make very important decisions."

Mr Grieve's intervention comes ahead of hustings in Birmingham at 3pm, where Mr Johnson will face off against Mr Hunt.

Old friends Hunt and Johnson are currently rivals vying to become prime minister. Credit: PA

Ahead of the event, Mr Hunt attacked his rival over reports he was avoiding a live TV debate before postal ballots are returned.

Invoking Mr Johnson’s personal hero, Winston Churchill, in his criticism, the Foreign Secretary told the Daily Telegraph: “This is supposed to be his finest hour … but if you’re going to hide away, that’s not democracy.

“He may be the right man, I may be the right man. But Conservative Party members can only make that choice if you have a proper debate.

“And you can’t have that debate if one of the candidates is bottling all opportunities to have a public head-to-head debate before ballot papers are sent out.”

Mr Hunt said that “scrutiny can be uncomfortable”, but “if we can’t handle it with friends, we won’t deserve to lead against our opponents”.

Tory grassroots will gather on Saturday as reports of the row feature across the front pages.

Boris Johnson ally Ben Wallace described the event as a non story. Credit: Twitter

Mr Johnson’s team have declined to comment on the reports, while his supporters remained largely quiet on Friday.

Security minister Ben Wallace, who is a close ally of Mr Johnson, said in a tweet to a Sun journalist, which has since been deleted: “What a non story ‘couple have row.’ Lefty neighbours give recording to Guardian. Newspaper reaches new low is a better news story.”

In a second reply, responding to a Twitter user questioning his suggestion it was a “non story”, Mr Wallace referred to domestic abuse, saying: “Didn’t say DA was a non story. It is incredibly serious. But the report said ‘row’.”