Boris Johnson was heckled during a Conservative leadership hustings in Cheltenham.
Johnson has come under pressure for his comments over Britain’s ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch in the row over the leak of his diplomatic dispatches.
His lack of explicit support for the envoy in Tuesday’s TV leadership debate following a tirade of abuse from US President Donald Trump was widely seen as the final straw in his decision to quit.
But the former foreign secretary insisted his comments in the debate had been “misrepresented” and denied withholding his backing.
Johnson said he telephoned Sir Kim who told him he had not actually watched the debate although his comments had been passed on to him by someone else.
“He said that what somebody had relayed to him had been a factor in his resignation,” Johnson said.
“I think that unfortunately what I said on that TV debate was misrepresented to Kim.”
Johnson’s attempts to skirt around the questioning prompted one angry audience member to shout: “Just answer the bloody question”.
Interviewer Iain Dale noted it was the first heckle of the hustings so far.
The man who heckled Boris did not wish to give his name to the press.
But the 74-year-old from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, told PA: “Why not answer the question that he is asked?
“He was asked did he regret what he did or didn’t say about the ambassador – he just said ‘I thought it was terrible that this stuff was leaked’.
“He did the same over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
“The awful thing is he doesn’t need to.
“He needs to learn that he can safely say ‘I got that wrong, I’m sorry, I will do it better’.”