UK PM contender Boris Johnson dodges questions about screaming row with girlfriend

Jeremy Hunt leaves after a leadership hustings

Jeremy Hunt leaves after a leadership hustings

Johnson and Hunt, whose odds on becoming PM shortened after the incident, will meet in the coming days for the first of 16 head-to-heads before the 160,000-strong Conservative Party membership votes for their new leader - the man who will become prime minister and replace the outgoing Theresa May.

Richard Barnes, a former Conservative Party politician who served as deputy mayor of London under Johnson, told BBC Newsnight: "I question the motives of the neighbors who stood there with a microphone pressed against the wall recording somebody's row ... so concerned were they, they went to the Guardian".

On Thursday evening, a few hours before the alleged altercation, Johnson topped the ballot in the Conservative Party leadership race, winning more than half of the votes.

"This is an audition to be the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and Boris needs to show that he's prepared to answer hard questions".

Hunt, the United Kingdom foreign secretary, presented himself as a safer choice to negotiate Brexit.

Johnson, Hunt's predecessor at the Foreign Office, said people had a right to ask questions about his character, after the police were called to investigate concerns for the welfare of a woman in his home, but said his record in office showed he could be prime minister.

Defending Johnson on BBC1's Breakfast, Hancock said the dozen-plus party hustings and other events amounted to "endless and constant scrutiny".

Johnson has refused to comment on the circumstances of a furious row that led one neighbour to record some of the shouting from inside his flat, and informed the Guardian about the incident.

Mr Hunt said today that his opponent was trying to "slink through the back door" of No 10 and avoid public debate.

"What they are is incredibly frustrated that we have haven't delivered Brexit, and I think that polling reflects the fact that people are just angry it's taken so long".

"I am not interested in debating Boris's private life".

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The victor will need to succeed where May failed in pushing a deal with the European Union through parliament, or face the prospect of leaving without a deal, which MPs have warned could collapse the government and trigger a general election.

"I think Conservative party members need to know the answer to those questions". "And that is not the type of behaviour that you would expect in our country".

"You just don't care for anything because you're spoilt".

"That implies you may have something you don't want to disclose".

"I believe that absolutely is the case", Ellwood told the BBC.

'It's always risky to be complacent and believe that things are inevitable, ' she said.

Jeremy Hunt has been engaged in frantic campaigning as he tried to overhaul Mr Johnson's advantage in the leadership contest.

But Mr Fox warned that Mr Johnson's claim that World Trade Organisation rules could be used to avoid tariffs under No Deal was false.

He has said that committing to the October deadline risks a move by lawmakers to block a possible no-deal, which could lead to an election, and has indicated he would delay Brexit again if he felt a deal was in reach.

"The very prospect of someone taping someone in their private home, frankly, tells me that is politically motivated", Patel said.

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