U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced political opposition and personal allegations Monday as he tried to fulfil his pledge to lead Britain out of the European Union in just over a month.
As he tried to energize Conservative members and lawmakers at the party’s annual conference, Johnson was forced to deny a journalist’s claim that he had grabbed her thigh at a private lunch two decades ago.
Sunday Times columnist Charlotte Edwardes says the incident took place when she worked at The Spectator, a conservative newsmagazine, while Johnson was its editor.
Asked Monday if the allegation was true, Johnson said: “No.”
Edwardes stood by her story, tweeting: “If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.”
Johnson also is under scrutiny for claims that an American businesswoman, Jennifer Arcuri, received money and perks from London coffers while Johnson was mayor of the British capital.