The Prime Minister and Carrie Johnson reportedly broke lockdown rules last year after spending Christmas with a friend at No10.
A report claims that Mrs Johnson and her husband were joined by their friend, political campaigner Nimco Ali, over the festive period, despite strict social distancing rules being in place due to surging Covid-19 cases.
What has Downing Street said?
Downing Street and Mrs Johnson’s spokeswoman have said that lockdown rules were not broken, although neither denied that Ms Ali joined the couple at Christmas.
In a statement, No10 said: “The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson have followed coronavirus rules at all times. It is totally untrue to suggest otherwise.”
The allegations against the PM and his wife first appeared in the US in Harper’s Magazine which claimed that Ms Ali, who is godmother to the couple’s son Wilfred, “spent Christmas with the couple at No10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings”.
The article was penned by Lara Prendergast, executive editor of The Spectator magazine, which Mr Johnson edited before entering politics.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman will face further probes about PM and Mrs Johnson’s arrangements over the festive period later today (18 October) as he fields questions from Westminster journalists.
Strict rules were in place over the festive period last year after the PM scrapped the planned relaxation of lockdown restrictions for London and large parts of south east England just a week before Christmas.
London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire were all placed under Tier 4 rules, meaning people were not allowed to mix indoors with anyone outside of their household.
Social mixing was also limited to just one person in an open public space, unless people lived with each other or were part of an existing support bubble.
Who is Nimco Ali?
Nimco Ali is a close friend of Mrs Johnson and is godmother to her and the PM’s 17-month-old son Wilfred.
Ms Ali was handed a key role as a Home Office adviser in October last year, working as an advisor on tackling violence against women and girls.
The post is said to pay £350 per day and was not advertised.
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.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, NationalWorld.