Tory leadership chaos as police visit Johnson’s home after neighbour reports row
Boris Johnson's bid to become prime minister was thrown into chaos as it emerged police were called to the home he shares with partner Carrie Symonds.
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.
Police officers were alerted early on Friday to an incident at the home Mr Johnson shares with Ms Symonds after neighbours said there had been a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging, according to the Guardian.
Scotland Yard said they were alerted to the situation by a caller who "was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour".
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.
"It lasted for just under 10 minutes, and a police car turned up first, and then a police van a few minutes later."
She said she was unsure who called police, who were at the scene for about 10 minutes before leaving.
A neighbour, who did not want to be identified, told The Telegraph: "I heard the row, it was pretty loud. I was quite worried to be honest, it was bad.
"I heard a lot of smashing – it sounded like plates or glasses – and I could hear her shouting. It was definitely her; I didn't hear him. There was a lot of shouting and swearing. It didn't last that long, maybe five minutes.
"It was unusual because it's very quiet around here. We don't usually hear things like this."
The Metropolitan Police said it responded to a call from a local resident at 12.24am on Friday.
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 couple of very loud screams" and a "loud bang" which shook the house.
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'."
Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Mr Johnson announced last autumn that he and his wife Marina Wheeler were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.
The couple said the decision had been taken some months earlier.
Announcement of the split came after newspaper allegations about Mr Johnson having had another extra-marital affair.
The revelations about Mr Johnson followed a day of turmoil for the Tories which saw a difficult by-election looming after Chris Davies was ousted as the Tory MP for Brecon and Radnorshire after constituents signed a petition to remove him following a conviction for faking expenses claims.
And Chief Whip Julian Smith promised an investigation after MP Antoinette Sandbach was called a "disgrace" by an unnamed male colleague.
Meanwhile, Mark Field, an ally of Mr Hunt, was suspended as a Foreign Office minister after manhandling a climate change protester at a black-tie dinner.