Boris Johnson's ties to Steve Bannon revealed

Footage published by the Observer shows Bannon claiming that he helped craft Johnson's resignation speech as FM.

    Boris Johnson's ties to Steve Bannon revealed
    Boris Johnson has recently come under scrutiny [Peter Nicholls/Reuters]

    Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become Britain's next prime minister, has come under scrutiny for his ties to Steve Bannon, the controversial former adviser to US President Donald Trump.

    Footage published by the Observer on Saturday showed Bannon claiming that he had helped craft Johnson's resignation speech as foreign minister last year.

    "So today, we're going to see if Boris Johnson tries to overthrow the British government," Bannon can be heard saying in the clip, while looking at a Daily Telegraph article about Johnson's resignation in July 2018.

    Asked if they had spoken, Bannon explained: "I talked to him initially over the phone, but then it's just easier to go back and forth over text."

    The footage was shot by US filmmaker Alison Klayman for a documentary titled The Brink.

    The clips were shot during the week Johson resigned over Brexit and Bannon was in London meeting leaders of the European far right, including Nigel Farage.

    'Lefty delusion'

    Bannon said that he "met Boris Johnson... years ago," but had "got to know him quite well" after Trump's election victory in 2016.

    The pair got to know each other professionally when both were in office and were reported to have met again in an unofficial capacity last summer.

    Johnson had said at the time that "the so-called relationship" with Bannon was a "lefty delusion" and his office dismissed the latest claims of a working relationship as "totally preposterous to the point of a conspiracy".

    190623083152344

    This is not the only problem Johnson faces. He also came under pressure from figures of his own party on Sunday when they asked him to explain reports of a domestic "row" that led to a police visit.

    Early on Friday, British police were called to Johnson's home after neighbours heard a loud altercation between him and his girlfriend.

    According to reports by the Guardian, Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds could be heard telling the former London mayor to "get off me" and "get out of my flat".

    The next day the former foreign secretary refused to answer questions in an interview with Iain Dale saying "I don't think people want to hear about that kind of thing".

    He instead tried to focus on his policies, saying "we need to get Brexit done" and promising to prepare Britain for a no-deal exit from the EU.

    Tory grandee Malcolm Rifkind criticised the response, saying "the fact is there was a police visit. You don't just say 'no comment'.

    "That implies you may have something you don't want to disclose," he told BBC Radio 5.

    Former Tory Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan told the Guardian his former boss now had a "big question mark over his head", adding that Johnson had shown a "lack of discipline" throughout his career.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies