Eddie Mair Fiercely Challenges Tory MP Over Johnson's Allegations

30 September 2019, 20:51 | Updated: 30 September 2019, 21:47

"Is Charlotte Edwardes making it up?" Eddie Mair asks, fiercely challenging Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi over Boris Johnson's various allegations.

"Does Boris Johnson have a women problem?" Eddie Mair asked the Tory MP, who was live at the party conference.

"I don't think Boris has a women problem at all, I've known Boris for 25 years and I think Boris has addressed this issue in the last few days and has moved on," he said and began talking about the party's Brexit agenda.

Eddie asked: "Is Charlotte Edwardes making it up?"

"Well I don't know Charlotte Edwardes, you'd have to ask her that question. All I can say to you is Boris has addressed this issue and it's time for us to focus on-"

Eddie interrupted: "Well I can understand why you want to move on. Do you think he still has questions to answer about Jennifer Arcuri?"

Zahawi repeated that the Prime Minister had already addressed this, and Eddie said "He didn't exactly address it."

"He did," said Zahawi, "he said everything was done correctly and in the proper way." The MP then started talking about Johnson's merits as a mayor to which Eddie pointed out he was asking him about Arcuri.

"Are you confident as one of his colleagues that he did nothing wrong?" asked Eddie.

"I am confident that he did nothing wrong. Of course I am. And I think all of this attack on Boris-"

Eddie said: "Forgive me, these are legitimate questions, not attacks."

The PM Boris Johnson denies groping a female journalist
The PM Boris Johnson denies groping a female journalist. Picture: PA

Zahawi said the decision for City Hall to investigate Boris Johnson over the Jennifer Arcuri allegations was a "political attack." This is after Johnson allegedly misuse of public funds to "benefit and reward" Arcuri while acting as London mayor.

"Oh you don't think it's even worth being investigated? Such is your faith in the Prime Minister," said Eddie.

"Eddie, you know as well as I do that City Hall and the way Boris behaved was totally appropriate."

Eddie said: "Ah! So not even worthy of investigation? That's fascinating."

"In my book it's a politically motivated attack against the Prime Minister. People want to thwart him from delivering Brexit," said Zahawi, which he then called "sad".

"So the Jennifer Arcuri allegations which are being investigated by London City Hall, you think it's actually not worth investigating and the sole motivation behind it is to stop Boris Johnson from achieving Brexit? Is that where we are?" asked Eddie.

Zahawi said that the closer we get to Johnson delivering Brexit on 31st October, "the greater the attacks will be on him from those who want to actually thwart and trip him up."

"And any investigation is politically motivated in your view?" asked Eddie.

Zahawi said: "What I think is happening is those who are against us delivering on 31st October and leaving the EU with a deal are attempting to trip up the Prime Minister and I think they will fail because he will deliver."

Nadhim Zahawi: Boris Johnson has done nothing wrong
Nadhim Zahawi: Boris Johnson has done nothing wrong. Picture: PA

"Do you think he needs help being tripped up or can he do it all by himself?" asked Eddie.

"Eddie I won't even dignify that with an answer. That is truly beneath you to even suggest that," said Zahawi.

"Really? You don't think his own behaviour might be part of his own downfall ultimately?"

"He was voted in by a massive majority to lead the party and therefore to become the Prime Minister. He's not the first Prime Minister - Gordon Brown didn't go to an election."

"And at the time Boris Johnson said Gordon Brown should really call an election," said Eddie.

"Yes and Boris is desperate to get an election."