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'No, why should I?' Boris Johnson refuses to say when photo with partner was taken

In an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Johnson was asked to explain why his hair is longer in the photograph than it currently is.

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BORIS JOHNSON HAS repeatedly avoided answering questions about a photo of him and his partner, amidst allegations that it was staged in a bid to avoid bad publicity. 

Johnson is the frontrunner in the race to become the Tory leader and British Prime Minister; with Tory members and representatives left with the choice of him and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

There’s been sustained pressure on Johnson since Friday when the police were called to his London home after neighbours reported a domestic incident between him and his partner Carrie Symonds.

Johnson has refused to answer questions about the incident, saying that it isn’t fair to “drag” his partner and family into the political sphere on this issue.

Yesterday, a photo was published of the couple in a number of British media outlets, accompanied with headlines indicating that any disputes that may have existed between the two had ended.

Boris Johnson at LBC - London Source: Empics Entertainment

Speaking on LBC radio today, Johnson refused to say when the photograph was taken, and shied away from denying that the photograph had been staged, or that he knew it was going to be released.

“The difficulty is that the minute you say one thing, you are bringing your loved ones into the public domain in a way that is not fair,” he said, when explaining why he didn’t want to answer questions about the incident.

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari said: “Well where did the picture come from today?”

Johnson responded to say that newspapers were going to print what they wanted, and said that he wanted to discuss other issues, before Ferrari asked again.

Johnson changed the subject, and Ferrari asked him a number of questions related to the picture, including: are you happy with the picture, and is that really you or is it Ed Sheeran.

He was then asked directly: “This is not to do with your private life: Did you know the photo was being put out there Mr Johnson?”

“There are all sorts of pictures of me out there on the Internet, which pop up from time to time… I am aware of all sorts of pictures of me out on the Internet. It’s entirely up to newspapers to decide what to print! But the longer we spend-” 

Ferrari: “I’m giving you 20 minutes. Did you know this picture was out there?”

Johnson: “Of course I knew there was a picture like that in existence… whether it was a decision (sic)… it’s entirely up to newspapers to print.”

Ferrari: “When was it taken?”

Johnson: “You’re asking me-” 

Ferrari: “So that’s a state secret!”

Johnson: “It’s not a state secret, it just so happens to be something I don’t want to get into.”

Ferrari: “You won’t even tell me when the picture was taken?”

Johnson: “No, why should I?”

Ferrari: “Because it’s not recent, is it?”

It’s then put to Johnson that it’s “quite an old photo” as Johnson’s hair is longer in it than it is currently, to which Johnson replied “I’m not going to comment” and that this was “beyond satire”. 

A number of MPs have already described the photo of Johnson and his girlfriend as being “obviously staged” after it appeared in a newspaper this morning. Labour MP Jo Stevens told the Mirror that the photo was “obviously staged” and made Johnson look “even more shifty”.

Today, it was confirmed that the Tory party will announce their new leader and British Prime Minister on Tuesday 23 July. The House of Commons breaks for its summer recess on 25 July, and returns on 3 September.

Johnson repeated claims that the UK needed to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, but said that he didn’t believe a no-deal scenario would result in a hard border, referencing technical solutions as part of the maximum facilitation option as a workaround.

In response to another question where he was asked how much influence Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon was having on him Johnson responded to say “this is the biggest load of codswallop I have ever heard”.

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