It is a story that is bound to attract attention around the world in the era of strict scrutiny of those who aspire to lead, the limits of privacy, police efficiency, gender violence and media’s oversight functions vis-à-vis the British standards of those themes. Not only have major global news outlet carried it, it is about a potential leader of a great power. The police responded immediately, did what they were supposed to do – ensure no one was going through an ordeal – and doing so without anyone reading religious or ethnic meaning to it.
In The Guardian where the story seems most elaborate, it is about a leading contender for the Prime Minister-ship of the United Kingdom being in the news for what seemed a brawl with his partner. So much was the fracas that nieghbours not only recorded it but also called the police. An updated version of the story Saturday in The Guardian (UK) started with the police being called to the home the politician shares with Carrie Symonds, his partner, “early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging”.
The argument, said the paper, was loud enough to be heard outside the property where the possible successor to Theresa May is living with Symonds introduced as a former Conservative party head of press.
According to The Guardian, a neighbour who said they knocked on the door of the house because they became concerned told it of hearing a woman screaming, then followed by “slamming and banging”, reaching a point where “Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to “get off me” and “get out of my flat”.
The neighbour told the paper they recorded the altercation from inside their own flat out of concern for Symonds. And The Guardian is saying that, in listening to the recording, it could hear Johnson refusing to leave the flat and telling Symonds to “get off my fucking laptop” before there is a loud crashing noise.
It also heard Symonds as saying Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine: “You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything.”
By The Guardian’s sequence of the story: The neighbour further claimed “There was a smashing sound of what sounded like plates. There was a couple of very loud screams that I’m certain were Carrie and she was shouting ‘get out’ a lot. She was saying ‘get out of my flat’ and he was saying no. And then there was silence after the screaming. My partner, who was in bed half asleep, had heard a loud bang and the house shook.”
The neighbour got no response after knocking three times and hence the decision to call the emergency number 999 and to which the response came in the form of two police cars and a van within minutes. But they left shortly afterwards, assured by both Johnson and Symonds that they were okay. The Guardian put this to be shortly after midnight,
The police which initially declined any records of such alert when contacted by The Guardian on Friday, however, issued a statement confirming it after being given the details by the journalist. The paper quoted the police response as follows: “At 00:24hrs on Friday, 21 June, police responded to a call from a local resident in [south London]. The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour”. It further added: “Police attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well. There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action”.
The Guardian’s back grounding of the story indicated Carrie Symonds as part of the team involved in the launch of Johnson’s leadership campaign, the two having increasingly appeared together at public events in recent weeks. The duo who have been living together in a flat said to have been a converted Victorian house have been reported intending to move into Downing Street together if Johnson were to be elected the British Prime Minister, a job for which Johnson, a former mayor of London, is the top guy in last Thursday’s balloting at the level of Conservative MPs. But he has a contender in Jeremy Hunt, another member of Parliament.
The Guardian further recalls Johnson leaving his wife, Marina Wheeler, last year and beginning a relationship with Symonds who it says has been credited with revitalising Johnson’s appearance and approach to politics. “She was part of his team when he publicly launched his campaign for the Tory leadership earlier this month”.
Johnson’s office did not respond to the paper when contacted yesterday Friday for comments. Johnson who went to Eton also attended Oxford University and has held vital positions that prepares anyone to be the leader of a country of Britain’s stature. Above all, he has been a journalist. He is 55 years old.