Carrie Symonds has spoken publicly for the first time since news broke of her domestic row with Boris Johnson – but she avoided the subject entirely and sent a tweet about plastic.
Miss Symonds, a keen conservationist, informed her 24,000 Twitter followers tonight that ‘recycling will not solve the problem’ and called for a cut in plastic use.
The former Tory PR worker shared a video featuring celebrities such as David Attenborough and Mary Berry but the tweet shed no new light on the row which has dominated the leadership race in recent days.
She was reported to have told Mr Johnson to ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’ during the furious row on Friday morning, but neither she nor the Tory leadership favourite have spoken in public about what happened.
Carrie Symonds posted on Twitter for the first time since her row with Boris Johnson but did not mention the subject
That photo: Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds broke cover in a photo that showed them looking happy, but the picture itself has sparked a further row
Miss Symonds ‘liked’ a tweet on Saturday which suggested she should ‘just carry on’ despite the row.
However, she later un-liked the tweet, suggesting she may have pressed the button by accident.
Mr Johnson has since been engulfed in a further row over a picture of the couple apparently sitting happily together.
The photograph appeared to be taken from nearby bushes, but speculation has grown that Mr Johnson’s campaign put out the picture in a bid to show their relationship was going strong.
No photographer or agency has claimed credit for the picture.
Today Mr Johnson repeatedly refused to answer questions about the photograph, insisting that ‘I don’t comment on that kind of thing’.
Asked where the photograph had come from, Mr Johnson said: ‘The longer we spend on things extraneous to what I want to do … the bigger the waste of time.’
Mr Johnson’s apparent row with Miss Symonds (pictured earlier this month) has thrown his Conservative leadership campaign into chaos
Mr Johnson took to the campaign trail this afternoon as he visited Richmond in south west London. Team Boris has faced criticism for seemingly keeping the former mayor of London away from the public and the press during the race for Number 10
Pressed further by LBC’s Nick Ferrari on whether the photo was in fact not recent, he replied: ‘I am not going to comment on the provenance of some photo that newspapers decided to put on their front pages.’
On the BBC, Mr Johnson said: ‘I do not talk about stuff involving my family, my loved ones.
‘And there’s a very good reason for that. That is that, if you do, you drag them into things that … in a way that is not fair on them.’
Tom Penn, the neighbour who recorded the heated argument and informed the Guardian, has said it was in the public interest to publicise the row.
‘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,’ he said.
Scotland Yard said they were alerted to the situation by a caller who ‘was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour’.
After officers attended it was deemed ‘there were no offences or concerns’ and there was no cause for police action.
Boris Johnson was put under pressure to answer questions about his private life during his appearance on LBC with Nick Ferrari this morning but he refused
Friends have insisted the couple ‘love each other very much’ and want to get married ‘when the time is right’.
Nonetheless, the row has delivered a blow to Mr Johnson’s leadership ambitions, days after he and Jeremy Hunt reached the final round of the race to succeed Theresa May.
Betting odds drifted against Mr Johnson, although he is still the heavy favourite.
Political rivals have called on Mr Johnson to come clean about the incident, with Liam Fox saying he needed to avoid the issue becoming a ‘distraction’.
Leading Tory donor John Griffin, who has given the party £4million, piled on the pressure yesterday, saying: ‘We deserve an explanation about that row.’
But former cabinet minister Priti Patel said: ‘He’s never talked about his private life and he never will.’
The Conservative party confirmed this afternoon that the new prime minister – either Mr Johnson or Mr Hunt – will be be announced on July 23.
Attempting to steer the conversation back to politics, Mr Johnson challenged Mr Hunt to commit to taking Britain out of the EU by the end of October.
In a letter to his rival, Mr Johnson said the ‘central question’ in the leadership contest was the issue of whether the next prime minister would commit to leaving the EU by October 31.
‘If we fail to deliver once again, the consequences for our party and our country will be devastating,’ he said.
‘We must not kick the can down the road again. The British people have had enough of being left in limbo.’
But in a BBC interview, Mr Hunt warned that insisting upon the October 31 departure date was a mistake.
‘I think that October 31 come hell or high water is a fake deadline, because it’s more likely to trip us into a general election before we’ve delivered Brexit, and that would hand the keys to Jeremy Corbyn and then we’d have no Brexit at all,’ he said.