Police called to UK's Boris Johnson's home over domestic spat

The front-runner for the UK's next PM faces criticism after neighbor calls the police on hearing 'screaming, shouting and banging.'

Sara Rubenstein,

PM hopeful Boris Johnson leaves his home in London
PM hopeful Boris Johnson leaves his home in London

The front-runner for the United Kingdom's next prime minister, Boris Johnson, faces public scrutiny about his character in wake of reports that police were called to his home on Friday morning due to a domestic spat. The timing couldn't be worse for Johnson, as the Conservative Party prepares to vote for the party's leader in the next month, with Johnson being seen as a shoo-in over his rival Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson's neighbor called British police on Friday morning after hearing the sound of screams, shouts and bangs coming from the house which Johnson shares with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds. The neighbor told The Guardian that Symonds was heard yelling at Johnson "get off me" and "get out of my flat." The neighbor recorded the fight on his phone, knocked on the door a few times and called the police when no one answered.

The Metropolitan Police entered the home but reported that "all occupants of the address… were all safe and well."

Johnson refused to answer questions about the incident during a Conservative Party event in Birmingham on Saturday. Radio Host Iain Dale questioned him repeatedly but Johnson responded, "I don't think they want to hear about that kind of thing. I think what they want to hear is what my plans are for the country and the party."

Johnson was previously married but separated from his wife last year after 25 years of marriage.

The neighbor who called the police went public with his story after receiving criticism for his actions of recording the fight and calling the police. "In the early hours of Friday morning, I answered a phone call from a takeaway food delivery driver," said Tom Penn, in a statement released on Saturday night and quoted by The Guardian. "At the same time, I heard what sounded like shouting coming from the street."

"I went downstairs, on the phone to the driver, and collected my food. On the way back into my flat, it became clear that the shouting was coming from a neighbor’s flat. It was loud enough and angry enough that I felt frightened and concerned for the welfare of those involved, so I went inside my own home, closed the door, and pressed record on the voice memos app on my phone.

"After a loud scream and banging, followed by silence, I ran upstairs, and with my wife agreed that we should check on our neighbors. 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 neighbors. I hope that anybody would have done the same thing.

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

"I, along with a lot of my neighbors 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 neighbors, 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 attempts from some areas of the press to instead focus their stories on us, and in particular my wife, have been eye-opening, and very alarming. I would encourage anyone to record any instances where they feel concerned for another person’s safety.".