Home Breaking News Carrie and Boris Johnson deny breaking lockdown rules despite friend’s Christmas visit

Carrie and Boris Johnson deny breaking lockdown rules despite friend’s Christmas visit

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A report claims Boris Johnson and his wife were joined by political campaigner Nimco Ali for the 2020 festive period, despite the PM introducing tough social distancing rules

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Carrie Johnson speaks at 2021 Conservative Party conference

Downing Street faces questions over whether Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie broke lockdown rules by spending last Christmas with a friend in No10.

A report claims the couple’s friend, political campaigner Nimco Ali, joined them for the 2020 festive period despite tough social distancing rules being in force in London amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases.

No10 and Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman denied Covid-19 rules had been broken.

But neither denied that Ms Ali joined the couple last Christmas. It’s understood she did stay as part of the couple’s ‘childcare bubble’.

If this was the case, Ms Ali must only have been staying for Christmas in order to provide “informal childcare” – not for socialising.

How Boris and Carrie Johnson say they didn’t break Covid rules – despite Christmas visit

The rules at the time said: “You can only use a childcare bubble for childcare. You cannot use a childcare bubble to mix with another household for other reasons.”

The allegations first appeared in the US in Harper’s Magazine which claimed that Ms Ali, who is godmother to the Johnsons’ 17-month-old son Wilfred, “spent Christmas with the couple at No10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings”.

The article was written by Lara Prendergast, executive editor of The Spectator magazine, which Mr Johnson edited before entering politics.

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie face questions over how they spent Christmas
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Image:

Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)

A No10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson have followed coronavirus rules at all times. It is totally untrue to suggest otherwise.”

Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman issued an almost identical comment, telling the Mirror: “The PM and Mrs Johnson have followed coronavirus rules at all times. It is totally untrue to suggest otherwise.”

Ms Ali said the allegations had led to a torrent of racist abuse on social media, adding: “I did not break any rules but you all knew that.”

However, neither Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman nor the No10 spokesman responded to a specific question about whether Ms Ali spent Christmas with the pair.

Carrie with her close friend Nimco Ali
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Image:

TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED)

Under the curbs the PM imposed just a week before Christmas, the planned relaxation of Covid rules for the festive season was scrapped for large parts of south-east England – and cut to just Christmas Day for the rest of the country.

Tier four restrictions were slapped on London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire – meaning people could not mix indoors with anyone not from their household.

Social mixing was cut to meeting one person in an open public space, unless people lived with them or they were part of their existing support bubble.

Last October, Ms Ali, who is Mrs Johnson’s best pal, was handed a key job as a Home Office adviser on tackling violence against women and girls.

The post, said to be paid £350-a-day, was not advertised.

The did not deny that Ms Ali joined the couple last Christmas
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Image:

TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED)

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Announcing the role, Home Secretary Priti Patel said at the time: “Nimco Ali’s dedication to raising awareness of the sickening practice of Female Genital Mutilation and advocacy for victims of gender-based violence, means she is ideally placed to advise the Government on tackling these appalling crimes.”

Ms Ali said last year: “I am delighted to independently advise the UK government on its pivotal efforts to end violence against women and girls.”

London and many other parts of England were plunged into ‘Tier 4’ Covid rules on December 19.

The only indoor mixing allowed was between people who were in the same household or “bubble”.

Apart from this and other limited exemptions, the government guidance said: “You must not stay overnight away from home”.

Ms Ali was handed a key job as a Home Office adviser
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Image:

PA)

People from two households could form a ‘support bubble’ under certain conditions and behave as though they all lived together.

Most people were only allowed to form a support bubble if one of the two households was a ‘single-adult’ home.

However, the Johnsons were allowed to form a support bubble with a household of any size, because they had a baby under the age of one at the time.

Secondly, people with kids under 14 were allowed to form a ‘childcare bubble’. Crucially, this childcare bubble could be formed with a different person to whoever was in the support bubble.

However, government guidance added: “You must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.”

No10 denied either of Mr or Mrs Johnson’s mothers stayed with the couple over the Christmas period. It had been reported that Mrs Johnson’s mother was in a bubble with the couple.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/carrie-johnson-broke-lockdown-friend-25235587