Number 10 denies Boris Johnson plans to sue The New European

Number 10 has denied that a press officer called the paper's editor-in-chief and claimed that Boris Johnson would be taking legal action over allegations made in a story published earlier in the week.

Boris Johnson scratching his head

Number 10 has denied that Boris Johnson is planning to take legal action against The New European.

It comes as the anti-Brexit newspaper claimed that a Number 10 press officer called its editor-in-chief Matt Kelly and during that call stated that Boris Johnson would be taking legal action over allegations made in a story published earlier in the week.

The story in question alleged that Boris Johnson said he had “buyer’s remorse” over his marriage to Carrie Symonds. The remarks were allegedly made at a dinner at the exclusive Garrick Club, where The New European claims around 30 current and former Telegraph journalists were present.

The Press Gazette has reported that Number 10 has denied both the comments Johnson allegedly made, and the claim that the Prime Minister would be taking legal action.

Despite the denial from Number 10, Kelly has said “I stand by our story, and our story about the story. If Boris Johnson changes his mind again and decides to sue, we’ll see him in court.”

The initial reports that Johnson was seeking to sue The New European were met with heavy criticism by journalists and public figures. The Daily Mirror‘s associated editor Kevin Maguire said Johnson had “lost the plot” if the story was true, while Tony Blair’s former spin doctor and The New European’s editor at large Alastair Campbell described it as a “proto-fascist attempt to intimidate small publisher”.

Chris Jarvis is Head of strategy and development at LFF

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