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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 10:02 GMT
Boris denies 'misleading' leader
Boris Johnson on his early morning run
The MP did not let the controversy stop his early morning run
Sacked Tory frontbencher Boris Johnson has denied lying to his party leader over his affair.

Mr Johnson, who edits the Spectator magazine, was fired for failing to tell the truth about claims he had an affair with a columnist.

But leaving his family home today, the Henley MP told reporters: "I did not mislead Michael Howard."

Going for an early morning run, Mr Johnson said he would do everything he could to save his marriage.

'Cracking on'

With his typical bluster, he told waiting journalists: "I advise you all very strongly, go for a run, get some exercise, and have a beautiful day."

Would you all kindly... hop it?

He answered reporters' questions after having problems opening his front door, which somebody had apparently locked from inside.

Mr Johnson's friends and father have insisted his political career is not over.

Speaking on Sky TV, Shadow Defence Minister Nicholas Soames declined to endorse party leader Michael Howard's decision to sack his "great personal friend".

He said: "I'm very, very sad and sorry for Boris. It is a very bad moment.

"But don't let's forget this is one of the most brilliant and amusing and interesting men of his generation.

"All I can say is Boris's political days are certainly not over. He will dust himself down and crack on."

Constituency support

Boris Johnson
Friends say Mr Johnson's political career is 'far from over'

Mr Johnson's father and prospective Tory candidate, Stanley, said: "There is one thing you can be quite certain of - this is not the end of his political career."

David Crossman, chair of the South Oxfordshire Conservative Association, said in a statement: "This does not affect his position as our Member of Parliament.

"He has proved in the short time he has been here to be a first class constituency Member of Parliament.

"We hope he will continue to represent us for many years to come."

But most senior Tory figures backed the sacking.

There is one thing you can be quite certain of - this is not the end of his political career
Boris Johnson's father, Stanley

Deputy leader Michael Ancram told the BBC: "Where Boris was less than frank, that was what could not be sustained. In the end Michael, when he realised Boris had not been frank with him, had to let him go."

Family issues spokeswoman Theresa May said Mr Howard had "done the right thing".

Affair claims

Married father-of-four Mr Johnson has also been dismissed as party vice-chairman.

Last week he dismissed claims in a Sunday newspaper that he had an affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt.

Mr Howard sacked Mr Johnson by telephone on Saturday afternoon amid fresh revelations in at least two Sunday newspapers.

Boris Johnson's wife, Marina Wheeler
Mr Johnson and wife Marina Wheeler have four children
After the news, Mr Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph: "It is a wretched and lamentable day when people's private lives become used in political machinations."

Reports of his affair came soon after he was embroiled in controversy when a Spectator editorial accused Liverpudlians of wallowing in grief over the murder in Iraq of engineer Ken Bigley.

That incident had led him to decide to quit the shadow frontbench, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The furore surrounding the editorial had convinced him that he could not be both a shadow minister and Spectator editor, the paper said.

But he decided he would not resign if it would be seen as "bowing to tabloid pressure", forcing Mr Howard to sack him, it reported.

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