Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Party Conferences2017
  2. Conservative Party Conference
29 September 2019updated 23 Jul 2021 9:09am

Amber Rudd and Matt Hancock won’t be the last to rally in support of Charlotte Edwardes

The journalist who alleges Boris Johnson groped her is highly-regarded - and in some cases, friends with - many top Conservatives

By Ailbhe Rea

Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd have both come out in support of Charlotte Edwardes, the Sunday Times journalist who today alleges that Boris Johnson groped her when he was editor of the Spectator magazine. 

Just as Downing Street issued an official denial, Hancock told Channel 4: “I know Charlotte well and I entirely trust what she has to say”. Rudd then tweeted: “I agree with Matt.”

It is my strong feeling that these two senior Conservatives won’t be the last to come out in support of Edwardes. She is hugely well-known, well-respected and well-liked among political circles, and is, in some cases, personal friends with them. (I know because, for the sake of full disclosure, she edited the Londoner’s Diary at the Evening Standard when I was a reporter there.)

This is not simply an allegation from an anonymous source, but someone who is vouched for, and is clearly trusted by figures like Hancock and Rudd. I don’t think they will be the last to come out in her support. As one cabinet member publicly supports the woman accusing the Prime Minister of sexual harassment, with maybe more to follow, Boris Johnson looks to be in for a bigger fight than he maybe was anticipating.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up