‘Clearly I have a better memory than he does’: Journalist Charlotte Edwardes bites back after Downing Street denies her claim that Boris Johnson squeezed her thigh during lunch in 1999
- Charlotte Edwardes said the then editor of the Spectator magazine pinched her
- Columnist claimed she was not only female guest to be touched inappropriately
- An adamant Number 10 spokesperson pushed back: ‘This allegation is untrue’
- Edwardes stuck to her story, saying she had a better memory than Mr Johnson
A female journalist who claimed Boris Johnson squeezed her thigh at a private lunch has rubbished Downing Street’s denial.
Charlotte Edwardes said that in 1999 the Prime Minister – then the editor of the Spectator magazine – grabbed a chunk of flesh from her upper leg.
But as the Prime Minister rallied party grassroots at the Conservative conference in Manchester, an adamant Number 10 tonight pushed back against these accusations and branded them ‘untrue’.
Yet Edwardes has stuck to her story and tweeted: ‘If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.’
This latest row is one of many problems dogging the embattled Premier, who also faces questions over improper links with a US businesswoman and an uphill struggle to fulfill his October 31 Brexit departure date vow.
Describing the lunch in Style magazine, Edwardes wrote: ‘Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh.
Boris Johnson squeezed a journalist Charlotte Edwardes’ (left) thigh at a private lunch with such force it made her jerk bolt upright, it was claimed last night
An adamant Number 10 tonight pushed back against these accusations and branded them ‘untrue’, yet Edwardes has stuck to her story
‘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.’
After the lunch thrown by the Spectator at their then London office, Edwardes said she confided about Mr Johnson’s wandering hands to another woman, who replied: ‘Oh God, he did exactly the same to me.’
Edwardes also wrote that she was taken aback after the now Premier referred to then partner Marina Wheeler as his ‘current wife’.
On Saturday night when MailOnline contacted Downing Street about the allegations, a spokesperson had refused to comment.
Edwardes recently joined the Sunday Times after leaving the Evening Standard where she edited the paper’s diary section.
Her accusations of Mr Johnson came as the Sunday Times reported that American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri told friends she was having a sexual affair with the then London Mayor.
Edwardes said that in 1999 the prime minister – then the editor of the Spectator magazine (pictured) – grabbed a chunk of her flesh from her upper leg
In 2004 Mr Johnson was sacked from the Tory frontbench over a reported affair with journalist and colleague at the Spectator Petronella Wyatt (right)
The prime minister has been dogged by allegations he improperly provided benefits to the entrepreneur’s company during his period in City Hall.
The latest allegations of infidelity follow a string of well-publicised stories involving Mr Johnson’s private life, some of which plagued his 25-year marriage to second wife Marina Wheeler.
In 2004 he was sacked from the Tory frontbench over a reported affair with journalist and colleague at the Spectator Petronella Wyatt.
He described claims about the relationship as ‘an inverted pyramid of piffle’ at the time.
Affair claims reared their head again in 2006 when it was reported that the married father-of-four had been romancing Anna Fazackerley of the Times Higher Education Supplement.
The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during another adulterous liaison with another woman, Helen Macintyre, while mayor of London in 2009.
Despite surviving years of turmoil, Mr Johnson and his lawyer wife separated and began divorce proceedings in 2018 and he is now living at Downing Street with former Tory Party worker Carrie Symonds, 31.
Downing Street refused MailOnline’s request for comment.
Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds were all smiles as they arrived arm in arm at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester this evening