Boris Johnson has insisted that allegations he squeezed the thigh of a journalist at a private lunch are “not true” – adding that it is “very sad” someone should make such claims.
Questions over the Prime Minister’s previous conduct have overshadowed the start of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Charlotte Edwardes said that Mr Johnson squeezed her thigh at a private lunch at The Spectator magazine’s HQ shortly after he became editor in 1999.
Asked about the reports, he told BBC Breakfast: “I’ve said pretty much what I have to say on all those things.
“This is a very difficult time and people are thinking for the country in the sense that Brexit is about to be done and a lot of people don’t want Brexit to be done.
“And I think rightly or wrongly they conceive of me as the person who is helping to deliver Brexit and it is inevitable that I’m going to come under a certain amount of shot and shell.
“I don’t mind that in the least.”
Asked if he was taking the allegations seriously, he said: “I’ve said what I’ve said about that. They are not true.
“It’s obviously very sad that someone should make such allegations – they are not true.”