Boris Johnson's neighbour speaks out after calling the police to domestic disturbance

Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
Conservative party leadership candidate Boris Johnson during the first party hustings at the ICC in Birmingham. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

The neighbour who called police to ‘screaming’ and ‘crashing’ at Boris Johnson’s London home has spoken out.

Tom Penn said he "felt it was of important public interest" to tell The Guardian about the alleged disturbance at the south London Mr Johnson shares with girlfriend Carrie Symonds property in the early hours of Friday morning.

There has been much criticism hurled at Mr Penn and his wife amid fallout from the incident involving the favourite to become the next prime minister.

On Saturday, Brexit minister James Cleverly, a supporter of Mr Johnson, said that a "big element" of the story "isn't that there was a heated argument, it's that the police were called".

"The police were called by the same person who recorded Boris and gave the story to the Guardian," he tweeted.

In a statement reported by The Guardian, Mr Penn defended his decision to reveal details of the incident to the newspaper.

"Once clear that no-one was harmed, I contacted the Guardian, as I felt it was of important public interest," he said.

"I believe it is reasonable for someone who is likely to become our next prime minister to be held accountable for all of their words, actions and behaviours.

"I, along with a lot of my neighbours all across London, voted to remain within the EU. That is the extent of my involvement in politics.

"The unpleasant things being said about myself and my partner, and some quite frankly bizarre and fictitious allegations, have been upsetting for not only us, but also for family, friends and fellow Camberwell neighbours, who are currently being harangued by the media.

"I would ask that you leave private citizens alone and focus instead on those who have chosen to run for power within the public eye."

The Metropolitan Police said they were alerted by a caller who "was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour".

The Guardian newspaper said it had heard a recording of the incident in which Mr Johnson could allegedly be heard saying "get off my f****** laptop" before a loud crashing noise.

Ms Symonds can be heard telling Mr Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat", the newspaper reported.

Mr Penn said that he recorded the altercation within his own home.

"After a loud scream and banging, followed by silence, I ran upstairs, and with my wife agreed that we should check on our neighbours.

"I knocked three times at their front door, but there was no response. I went back upstairs into my flat, and we agreed that we should call the police.

"The police arrived within five minutes. Our call was made anonymously and no names were given to the police. They subsequently called back to thank us for reporting, and to let us know that nobody was harmed.

"To be clear, the recordings were of the noise within my own home. My sole concern up until this point was the welfare and safety of our neighbours. I hope that anybody would have done the same thing," he said.


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Mr Johnson’s approval ratings have suffered in the wake of the domestic disturbance. He has slipped behind Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt in the race for No. 10, according to a Survation poll of likely voters.

In the days before the police incident, Mr Johnson had a sizeable 27 per cent lead over Hunt, though Hunt is now three points ahead.

However, a Sunday Telegraph-commissioned ComRes poll suggests that Mr Johnson has maintained his lead, at 22 points ahead among Tory Councillors.

Meanwhile, more than half of Scottish voters would vote to leave the UK if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister, a new poll suggests.

A Panelbase survey of 1,024 voters found that, at the moment, 49% of those questioned support Scottish independence (up one point since last month) while 51% are against it.