LONDON (Labour Buzz) - Boris Johnson’s private life has often served as a punchline to many a joke. In some respects his reputation as a cad has served to make him stand out from the sea of Bullingdon Club toffs and made him somewhat of a likeable figure of fun; the lovable buffoon who can’t keep it in his pants and gives good face on Have I Got News For You.
But increasingly we’ve seen these high japes take a much darker turn and Johnson’s premiership has been marred by allegations of violence, lies, misuse of public funds and sexual misconduct. The Jennifer Arcuri scandal; where Johnson’s is alleged to have given favourable treatment to a US businesswoman with whom he had a close personal relationship, being the most recent. This situation occurred during Johnson’s time as London mayor but has most recently come to light and is the latest in a long line of scandals, both political and personal, to have dogged the PM.
A Catalogue of Lies
Boris Johnson’s lies are ubiquitous, he has been sacked twice for telling untruths. The first time in 1988 by The Times for making up a quote in a front-page story and the second in 2004, when standing as MP for Henley. In this instance he was dismissed as Tory vice chair and Shadow Arts Minister after aides to leader Michael Howard decided he had lied about an affair.
Boris denied reports of a four-year affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt, but was contradicted by her mother who said the affair did happen - and that Ms Wyatt had had an abortion as a result (it has been suggested she in fact had two during the course of their relationship). Since that time he has refused to discuss the allegations. Indeed, he appears to have made it a personal policy to not discuss his personal life, perhaps due to the plethora of scandal surrounding it.
Even the most basic of knowledge has been kept largely hush-hush with Boris refusing to confirm how many children he has. In 2018 Johnson confirmed his split from his second wife Marina Wheeler (who’s relationship began whilst he was still in a relationship with first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen). The couple have four children together but he has had multiple affairs, at least one of which resulted in a child. Boris attempted to keep the affair and child under wraps but a 2013 court ruling found that the public were entitled to know about claims of that affair.
A History of Violence
Despite still being married to Ms Wheeler, Johnson is now living with 31-year-old girlfriend Carrie Symonds. This relationship has been marred by rumour and gossip, initially relating to Johnson’s marital status when then relationship begun and latterly by allegations of domestic violence stemming from an instance where police were called to the flat the couple shared with after an altercation in June this year.
A neighbour dialled 999 after he heard the words "get off me" and "get out of my flat”, as well as "a loud scream and banging, followed by silence." As appears to be customary, Johnson refused to comment on the incident.
It’s not the first time that Johnson has been embroiled in scandal relating to violence. The Prime Minister was secretly recorded in 1990 during a phone call with former Eton friend Darius Guppy, who was later jailed for five years for his part in an insurance fraud.
Mr Guppy sought contact details for News of the World journalist Stuart Collier, who was investigating his affairs. “There is nothing which I won't do to get my revenge,” he said.
Asked by Mr Johnson “how badly are you going to hurt this guy”, Collier replied that the journalist “will not be seriously hurt” but “will probably get a couple of black eyes and... a cracked rib.”
Johnson attempted to cover his back and sought assurances he would not get in "trouble" before saying: "OK, Darrie, I said I'll do it."
These scandals bear repeating, as they highlight the reality of the man at the helm of the country, during its most perilous position in a century. Johnson is not merely the clown with stupid hair who looks a wally on a zip wire. He’s a calculated politician whose personal life and conduct point to a man of poor morals and a deceptive nature.
(Written by Kirsty-Anne Jasper, edited by Michael O'Sullivan)