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Boris Johnson needs to show he can answer hard questions, says Hunt

Rival: Jeremy Hunt
Rival: Jeremy Hunt

By Shaun Connolly

Pressure was mounting on Boris Johnson last night to explain why police were called to the home he shares with partner Carrie Symonds as his rival to be Prime Minister insisted he should answer questions on everything.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt took a swipe at his competitor for Downing Street after Mr Johnson repeatedly refused to reveal what led to the police involvement in the early hours of Friday.

Mr Hunt told Sky News: "I think someone who wants to be Prime Minister should answer questions on everything. But I'm not going to comment on issues of character because... I am sure you and I have got things, that, you know, we would be embarrassed if they came out.

"I just think it's irrelevant given the gravity of the situation. I am not going to comment on Boris's personal life. That's for others to make their judgments on."

The Foreign Secretary insisted his predecessor in the Cabinet role was trying to avoid scrutiny in the battle for Number 10.

"What Boris needs to do is engage properly in this leadership debate. This is an audition to be the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Boris needs to show that he is prepared to answer difficult questions."

Hunt supporter and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox signalled it was better to be clear about what had happened.

Dr Fox told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: "I think it is always easier to just give an explanation.

"It is inevitable there is a focus on private lives. That does not concern me. What I am concerned about are the issues."

Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said Mr Johnson was "completely unsuitable" to be Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson repeatedly refused to explain to Tory grassroots at a Saturday hustings what went on at the south London flat in the early hours of Friday, saying the party faithful did not want "to hear about that kind of thing".

Mr Johnson's campaign for Number 10 was rocked by the revelations that officers were called to the home he shares with partner Ms Symonds by a neighbour who claimed to have been "frightened and concerned" after hearing shouting, "a loud scream" and banging coming from the property.

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