Boris Johnson is being urged by his own supporters to provide a full explanation of how a row with his partner became so heated that a neighbour called police.
Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, talks during a hustings event in Birmingham, Britain, June 22, 2019.
The Foreign Secretary ramped up his challenge to Mr Johnson on Saturday, saying in an open letter that their "character" was being tested in the final stage of the leadership race and "scrutiny can be uncomfortable".
Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, said questions about the candidates' private lives were inevitable and Mr Johnson should set out the facts to allow the contest to return to policy issues.
"I think it's always easier to just give an explanation", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday.
"But the key thing then is how you get on to the issues; what we can't have is it being a distraction from explanations about wider polices and where we go to and when".
The team surrounding his rival, Jeremy Hunt, is also taking care not to appear to be taking gratuitous swipes at Mr Johnson.
Hunt said he was not going to comment on Johnson's private life. "That's for others to make their judgments on".
"What Boris needs to do is engage properly in this leadership debate".
One minister who is supporting Mr Johnson told i: "He should tackle it head-on".
Johnson, who has a leading Brexit campaigner in the 2016 referendum, on Saturday reiterated his desire to leave the European Union in October with or without a deal. Mr Hunt argued that "someone who wants to be prime minister should answer questions on everything".
Two surveys suggested Mr Johnson's lead over Mr Hunt among Conservative voters had been cut from 27 points to 11, while among all respondents Mr Hunt was ahead on 32% with Mr Johnson on 29%.
They said Mr Johnson still plans to marry Miss Symonds when his divorce to his second wife Marina Wheeler is finalised.
All occupants of the address were spoken to and were all safe and well, police said in a statement.
Asked if his attitude towards British jobs is still as "careless" as it was then, Johnson replied: "I bitterly resent the way one stray remark to the Belgian ambassador who was making the case that the United Kingdom would not be able to leave the European Union, I don't think that should be allowed to cloud what is, I think, a pretty extraordinary record as a politician for sticking up for business at every conceivable opportunity".
Shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said Mr Johnson was "completely unsuitable" to be prime minister after police were called to his partner's home after reports of shouting and banging.
"I think what people want to know is whether I have the determination and the courage to deliver on the commitments that I'm making and it will need a lot of grit right now".
Penn said voted to remain the European Union three years ago, but that was the extent of his involvement in politics.