Boris Johnson declines to say if girlfriend will join him in Downing Street

Boris Johnson has again refused to talk about his private life, including if his partner would live with him in Downing Street if he becomes prime minister.

“I’ve had a pretty ruthless rule on not commenting on that side of things and I don’t intend, if I may, to break it after 30 years,” he said during the latest debate in the leadership contest.

When pressed further that it was a trust issue with the public and that voters do not know who he would be living with, Mr Johnson responded: “I don’t want to get into any kind of presumptuous theorising about living in Downing Street at all.”

The former foreign secretary, who is battling against Jeremy Hunt to succeed Theresa May, has faced questions about his personal life throughout the campaign.

Mr Johnson split from his second wife Marina Wheeler, with whom he has four children, last year.

His current relationship with Carrie Symonds, a former head of communications for the Conservatives, caused headlines earlier in the race.

Police were called to their home after neighbours reported hearing a row between the pair.

Mr Johnson has steadfastly refused to discuss the incident when asked about it during the campaign.

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But the question of whether Ms Symonds will have a role in Mr Johnson’s Downing Street operation should he win has been the subject of press speculation throughout the campaign.

According to the Daily Mirror, there is a split in Mr Johnson’s team, with some of the view that he should enter Downing Street alone.

An article in the Daily Mail this week contained a number of claims surrounding Ms Symonds’ time at Tory headquarters.

The paper cited a close friend as dismissing them as “nonsense” and a bid to smear her.

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