BORIS Johnson has denied a journalist’s claim that he “squeezed her thigh so hard she flinched” under the table at a private lunch.
Charlotte Edwardes said that the Prime Minister, who was then editor of the Spectator, touched her leg during an event held by the magazine in 1999 .
Writing in The Sunday Times, Edwardes, said: “Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh.
“He gives it a squeeze. His hand is high up my leg and he has enough flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.”
Edwardes says at the time she was a young newspaper reporter writing occasional articles for the right-wing magazine.
She also claimed to have confided in the “young woman” on his other side after the “louche, loud, risqué” lunch.
The woman reportedly responded, saying: “Oh God, he did exactly the same to me”.
Edwardes, who wrote for Evening Standard before recently moving to the Sunday Times, says he was with his partner Marina Wheeler at the time.
Downing Street has denied a the claim, with a Number 10 spokesman saying: “This allegation is untrue.”
Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He gives it a squeeze. His hand is high up my leg and he has enough flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.
The journalist made the allegation on the second anniversary of the Me Too movement.
In her column, Edwardes also referenced Michael Fallon and Damian Green, two Conservative ministers who resigned after they were accused of sexual misconduct.
Edwardes writes: “He’s [Boris has] seen off mere papery knee-fondlers — two ministers were flung out for this in 2017 — and now he’s installed in No 10, where, I imagine, he man-sprawls the sofas, brushing crumbs from his tie, while, upstairs, his bedroom is a Tracey Emin installation.”
Michael Fallon resigned from his defence portfolio after several allegations of misconduct, including an admission that he’d repeatedly touched the journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee at a conference dinner.
Damian Green stepped down from his role as First Secretary of State after Tory activist, Kate Maltby, accused him of touching her leg and making a pass at her.
Tory women come out to defend Boris but admit he's a 'bull in a china shop'
TORY women have this afternoon come out to defend Boris Johnson after he was hit by multiple sleaze allegations today.
Last night it was revealed that the PM allegedly groped a journalist’s thigh – and ex-model Jennifer Arcuri was said to have told pals she had an affair with Boris.
And this afternoon ex-Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt described the PM as a “Frank Spencer in a China shop” but insisted he was a “decent person”.
Ms Mordaunt said: “He is not the individual that he is quite often painted as being.
“He occasionally has the style of Frank Spencer in a china shop.
“But he’s a decent person. I think he cares a great deal about women and girls.
“And certainly that was my experience when he was foreign secretary.”
And Redditch MP Rachel Maclean said: “The original feminists talked about ‘deeds, not words’.
“And on that basis, I absolutely judge the Prime Minister to be a feminist.
“And if you look at his record, and what he’s done for women – I would point to the record on female genital mutilation, he has been the foremost champion of putting resources into (tackling) that around the world.”
Other Tories have refused to comment on Boris’ private life.
“Boris has never lectured other people about their private lives,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier.
They come as Boris Johnson steps out in Manchester for the Conservative Party conference amid chaos over Brexit.
The tech entrepreneur, 34, is said to have confided to pals about an intimate relationship with the then-married London mayor.
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Johnson today said there was “no interest to declare” regarding links with Arcuri and that everything had been done “with full propriety”.
It was alleged he gave her her company received thousand pounds in sponsorship grants because of a special relationship.
The police watchdog are currently investigating whether a crime was committed.
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