Boris Johnson has had an awkward time avoiding questions on how a romantic photograph of himself and partner Carrie Symonds appeared in sympathetic media outlets days after police were called to their home.
Since the picture’s publication, media commentators have suggested the scene was staged in order to defuse the scandal of what neighbours believed could have been an incident of domestic violence.
On LBC, Johnson agreed with Nick Ferrari’s opening gambit that “of course” the private life of a prime minister is “of interest”, but said that bringing loved ones into the public domain is “not fair”.
“Then why the picture today?” asked Ferrari, holding up a copy of the Mirror.
MORE: Boris Johnson poses for pictures with girlfriend Carrie Symonds and instantly becomes a meme“Newspapers will print whatever they’re going to print,” said Johnson, opening up an excruciating three minutes of grilling.
“Well where did it come from?” pressed Ferrari.
“The longer we spend on things … extraneous to what I want to do …” mumbled Johnson.
“Is it actually you, or is it Ed Sheeran?” asked Ferrari.
“There are all sorts of pictures of me out on the internet which pop up from time to time,” said Johnson.
Johnson refused to be drawn on any notion of how or when the picture was taken or how it got into the hands of the press, or whether he knew the picture was being circulated.
Ferrari noted that Johnson’s hair was markedly longer and more dishevelled in the picture, which according to the Sun was taken “yesterday”.
“This conversation is now descending into farce,” said Johnson, going on to talk about his hairdresser “Kelly … or Tamara”.
“I’m not going to comment on the antiquity or the provenance of some photo that newspapers decide to put on their front pages,” he added.