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MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied on Monday that he had inappropriately touched a female journalist two decades ago, and mentioned the general public were extra attracted to listening to about his plans for public services.

As Johnson prepares to book the United Kingdom out of the European Union on Oct. 31, his past kinfolk with several girls folk luxuriate in advance beneath scrutiny. The allegations overshadowed the Conservative Birthday celebration’s annual convention which opened on Sunday.

Charlotte Edwardes, a columnist, wrote in The Sunday Instances that Johnson had groped her at a lunch in 1999 when he turned into editor of The Spectator journal.

“Below the desk, I in fact feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He affords it a squeeze,” Edwardes wrote. “His hand is high up my leg and he has sufficient inner flesh beneath his fingers to create me sit down without note correct.”

Edwardes mentioned that after the meal, she confided in but every other woman who had sat on the diversified aspect of Johnson. The diversified woman mentioned Johnson had furthermore groped her, Edwardes mentioned.

Asked in a television interview if he had inappropriately touched her thigh as she reported, Johnson mentioned: “No”.

When therefore asked if she had made up the legend, he spoke back: “I’m correct announcing what I mentioned, and I luxuriate in what the general public are looking out to listen to is what we’re doing for them and the nation and for funding in methods of uniting the nation.”

Asked if the allegations were overshadowing the convention, he mentioned “Unquestionably now not. I luxuriate in what the general public are looking out to listen to is what we’re doing to relate the nation together and safe on with bettering their lives.”

After a denial by a Downing Motorway spokesman, Edwardes mentioned on Twitter: “If the pinnacle minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I in fact luxuriate in the next memory than he does.”

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts all throughout the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre in Rotherham, Britain September 13, 2019. Christopher Furlong/Pool through REUTERS/File Portray

London’s Labour-bustle native executive mentioned on Friday it had referred Johnson to Britain’s police watchdog for doable investigation over allegations of misconduct animated a U.S. businesswoman whereas he turned into mayor of London.

The referral follows allegations, first reported by The Sunday Instances, that when Johnson turned into mayor, he didn’t inform cease non-public links to tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, who bought hundreds of kilos in public industry funding and locations on expert change journeys.

Asked about the London referral, Johnson’s spokesman mentioned: “The head minister as mayor of London did a tall amount of work when promoting our capital city around the arena, beating the drum for London and the UK.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Michael Holden and Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Angus MacSwan