'I don't remember...but it's not true': Boris Johnson on alleged Charlotte Edwardes incident

Boris Johnson has told ITV News he doesn't remember having lunch with a journalist who accuses him of squeezing her thigh under the table without her permission when the pair were sitting together.

He was referring to a claim made by Sunday Times columnist Charlotte Edwardes when the pair were attending an event held by the Spectator magazine in 1999 - where he was editor.

The prime minister had previously denied the allegation, but in an interview with ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand, he said he has no recollection of ever attending the event in question.

When asked if he could remember the event, Mr Johnson responded: "All I know is it is not true."

When pressed, the prime minister conceded, "to be honest, I have no memory whatever".

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

He added: "It is not true, for all sorts of reasons, and I don’t wish, as I say, to minimise the importance of the subject, I don’t wish to, you know, cast aspersions on the motives of anybody who makes this type of allegation but it is not true and what I want to do is focus on our domestic agenda."

The PM said voters should "absolutely" trust him, despite further allegations around his links to an American business woman - who reportedly had access to business trips and cash grants - during his time as London Mayor.

Charlotte Edwardes has accused the prime minister of squeezing her thigh. Credit: PA

He defended his time in City Hall and said he won't allow allegations to "knock the government off course" from its "vital mission" of delivering Brexit by October 31.

In a lighter moment during the interview the prime minister was asked about his comparison between himself and Incredible Hulk.

Paul Brand said: "But even he turns back into a sensitive scientist."

Mr Johnson agreed, saying he would be "proud to be compared to Bruce Banner the nuclear physicist".

  • ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston with the latest from the party conference

"I’ve been tasked with getting Brexit over the line in a time of national controversy. There is no way of fudging it. You can’t be half in and half out of the EU, you can’t be 52% out and 48% in, it just doesn’t work," he said.

Asked if he had a softer side, the PM said: "Of course - I don’t know what you mean exactly by that, but I suppose yes."

  • Watch the full interview here: