No 10 seems to substantiate Nimco Ali’s Christmas lockdown stick with Johnsons | Boris Johnson

A detailed good friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson did stick with the couple throughout the peak of the coronavirus lockdown final Christmas, Downing Avenue has in impact confirmed, whereas insisting that no Covid guidelines have been damaged.

It’s understood that Nimco Ali, a campaigner and House Workplace adviser who’s godmother to the Johnsons’ son, Wilfred, was at Downing Avenue over the Christmas interval as a part of their childcare help bubble.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson declined to formally affirm that Ali was there. “As you may count on, I’m not going to get into talking about people that the prime minister has seen over Christmas,” he mentioned. “What I can say is that the prime minister and Mrs Johnson have adopted the coronavirus guidelines always.”

Nonetheless, the spokesperson did say that neither Boris Johnson’s mom – who died final month aged 79 – or Carrie Johnson’s mom have been with the household over Christmas. Requested to substantiate whether or not or not Ali was there, he didn’t reply.

“It’s solely correct to say that they adopted coronavirus guidelines always,” the spokesperson mentioned, rejecting the argument that it was legit to hunt clear solutions on the preparations given lockdown breaches by senior authorities figures similar to Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings and the ex-health secretary Matt Hancock.

“I don’t settle for that,” he mentioned. “We have now been very clear that all through this pandemic the prime minister has anticipated all ministers to stick to the rules. That’s what the prime minister and Mrs Johnson have executed, each right now and all through, and I’m completely happy to make that clear.”

Boris and Carrie Johnson pictured in Downing Avenue over throughout the Christmas interval of 2020. {Photograph}: Andrew Parsons/No10 Downing Avenue

Downing Avenue had additionally insisted that Cummings had not damaged any lockdown guidelines, and when pictures emerged of Hancock kissing an aide in breach of laws on the time, No 10 initially mentioned the matter was “closed”.

Nonetheless, questions stay about which guidelines lined the presence of Ali, a outstanding campaigner in opposition to feminine genital mutilation who has a two-days-a-month function advising the House Workplace, which was seemingly not marketed.

An article within the journal Harper’s, written by a senior editor of the Spectator, the journal Johnson used to edit, which first reported Ali’s presence at Downing Avenue over Christmas, mentioned she was there “regardless of pandemic restrictions on vacation gatherings”.

Whereas the federal government did introduce a “Christmas bubble” permitting folks to combine on Christmas Day, this was not in place in areas within the highest tier of restrictions, which included London on the time.

The guidelines mentioned it was potential for folks to make use of a childcare bubble on 25 December, even in areas below the very best tier, “however provided that fairly needed for the needs of childcare and the place there aren’t any cheap alternate options”.

Johnson’s spokesman refused to say if or why such a childcare association was needed on the time.

Carrie Johnson’s mom, Josephine McAffee, was reportedly a part of a help bubble together with her daughter, an association that was allowed if one member lived alone or if a family had a baby aged below one, which Wilfred was final Christmas.

It was potential for households to have each a help bubble and childcare bubble, however the latter had strict guidelines and have to be used just for childcare, not as a motive for folks from completely different households to combine socially.

It isn’t clear whether or not the childcare bubble association for Ali was longer-term or solely in place for Christmas. Underneath the principles, childcare bubbles may change, however provided that there was a motive linked to childcare logistics. If this occurred, the household with the kid needed to cease utilizing any childcare for at the least 10 days earlier than the bubble modified.

Ali has not commented past tweeting that she had obtained “two days of racist and disgusting tweets” after it was reported that she had breached lockdown guidelines when she had not.

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