17:05 GMT17 February 2020
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    Trump aide Steve Bannon supposedly sent texts to Boris Johnson following a video of the former adviser claiming to have discussed the contents of a speech with him. The leadership frontrunner has since been accused of having his campaign orchestrated by Bannon.

    Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson rebuffed claims that he has connections to right-wing political campaigner Steve Bannon.

    In an interview with LBC, the former foreign secretary was pressed on the accusations that he and Steve Bannon had a close association, calling them "absolute codswallop."

    Mr. Johnson said that the "sum total" of any relationship between the two was during his capacity as foreign secretary, claiming that he met Mr Bannon at the White House during his tenure of Chief of Staff to President Trump, as expected of any foreign secretary.

    Steve Bannon was the executive chair of media outlet 'Brietbart', he later served as Trump’s campaign aide and then White House chief strategist until August 2017.

    He has since become an ideological guru for populist political movements.

    In 2017 Bannon constructed a right-wing academy called "The Movement", which sought to unify nationalist and euroskeptic parties such as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and Marine Le Pen's Nationals following a planned surge in the EU elections. 

    The concept floundered however as various groups such as the Sweden Democrats and Law and Justice in Poland outright rejected the idea.

    Mr. Johnson admitted that the two were in contact throughout Mr. Trumps visit to the UK in 2018.

    "It is perfectly true that when the president came to this country last year Steve Bannon texted me on a couple of occasions, trying to fix a meeting," he said.

    "I texted back to say that meeting was not possible."

    Surrounding initial rumours circulating last July of Boris Johnson launching a potential leadership challenge against Theresa May, the former foreign secretary is alleged to have held private conversation with Bannon.

    Footage from a documentary called "The Brink" heard Bannon discussing Mr Johnson’s resignation.

    "I’ve been talking to him all weekend about this speech," said Mr Bannon.

    "We went back and forth over the text."

    Mr Johnson hit back at political opponents, using the footage to brand his campaign as "some crazy kind of alt-right conspiracy", and maintained that he was "progressive modern Conservative."

    “I ran London from the big centre of politics and we did some fantastic things for our city and I want to do those things for our country.” he said. 

    Brexit, Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Boris Johnson
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