Saturday 24 August 2019

Johnson plans to move girlfriend into No 10 if he becomes British PM

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Robert Mendick and Anna Mikhailova

Boris Johnson is planning to move his girlfriend Carrie Symonds into Downing Street with him should he win the Tory leadership contest, despite a row that led to police being called, it has been reported.

Friends of Mr Johnson are insisting nothing has changed in the couple's relationship after they were recorded by neighbours arguing loudly.

They said Mr Johnson still plans to marry Ms Symonds when his divorce to his second wife Marina Wheeler is finalised.

Rumours had been circulating that Mr Johnson and his partner had split and that their partnership was floundering even before the row early on Friday morning.

One source suggested Mr Johnson was sleeping on the sofa and that explains why Ms Symonds, a former Conservative Party director of communications, was so upset when wine was spilt on it. But yesterday, Mr Johnson's camp was adamant the row was nothing more than a typical contretemps.

"The couple intend to live together in No 10 if he is elected Tory leader and to marry after his divorce is finalised," a source said.

If Mr Johnson does secure the leadership, and Ms Symonds sticks with him, she would become the first girlfriend to move into Downing Street with an unmarried prime minister, becoming his official escort. The last, and only, time a prime minister has divorced and then remarried in office was the Duke of Grafton, who held the reins of power from 1768 to 1770.

Over the weekend Ms Symonds, who has left her flat in Camberwell and gone into hiding, "liked" a message posted on Twitter that encouraged her to "please carry on" because the British public "must have entertainment at No 10", suggesting she still had her eye on relocating to Downing Street, assuming Mr Johnson beats rival Jeremy Hunt in a vote of party members.

Partner Carrie Symonds. Photo: PA Images via Getty Images
Partner Carrie Symonds. Photo: PA Images via Getty Images

Confusion reigned, however, when Ms Symonds subsequently removed her "like" from the tweet.

Ms Symonds (31) is reported by friends to be too scared to return to her two-bedroom flat in south-east London. Yesterday, veteran activists from Class War arrived at the flat to stage a protest against Mr Johnson (55).

"Carrie really doesn't feel safe in her own home anymore with anti-Boris leaflets and posters stuck up on the road, hand-delivered hate mail and her private conversations being taped through the walls," a friend of Ms Symonds told the 'Mail on Sunday'.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has renewed his commitment to leaving the European Union on October 31 as he insisted he would not "bottle" Brexit.

The frontrunner for the Tory leadership insisted "we can, we must and we will" leave on the promised date.

The comments hit back at his rival Jeremy Hunt, who told Mr Johnson not to "bottle it" when challenging him to take part in another television debate, and address criticism that he has been wavering over the exit date. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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