POLITICS
31/08/2021 13:56 BST | Updated 31/08/2021 16:58 BST

Boris Johnson Has Gone 'Away' With His Family To The West Country, No.10 Reveals

But spokesperson refuses to say he is "on holiday" and stresses he is "continuing to work".

PETER NICHOLLS via Getty Images

Boris Johnson has gone “away” with his family to the West Country on a four-day break from the office, Downing Street has revealed.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said he was with his pregnant wife Carrie and son Wilfred but refused to say whether he was on “holiday”.

The PM was forced to cut short a summer trip to Somerset after just one day earlier this month, when the Taliban’s capture of Kabul prompted an evacuation crisis for the UK government.

Johnson left No.10 on Sunday and will return on Thursday, his spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister is away for the next two days in the west of England but is continuing to work and will be back in the office in Downing Street on Thursday.

“He left on Sunday, I believe.”

Asked if the trip was a holiday, he said: “He is away, as I say, out of the office for a couple of days but he is working.”

Johnson and foreign secretary Dominic Raab were both on holiday when Kabul fell on August 15.

The PM returned to London within a day but Raab was heavily criticised for not coming back earlier from a break in Crete.

It is understood that there will be no No.10 office staff with Johnson during his break from London.

And asked if Johnson was working “full-time”, the spokesperson replied: “Yes, the prime minister is continuing to work.”

Put to him that some may suggest it was appropriate for the PM to be away from No 10 while British nationals were still stuck in Afghanistan, the spokesperson replied: “He continues to lead the overall government response to the situation in Afghanistan.”

Asked by HuffPost UK whether the PM’s break had been timed to coincide with the last UK personnel having been evacuated from Kabul on Sunday, his spokesperson said: “I wouldn’t get into what dictates the prime minister’s diary”.

The spokesperson said there was the “potential” for the prime minister “to take a holiday at some point in the future”.

Johnson holidayed in Scotland last summer with partner Carrie, but this year had planned a Somerset “staycation” instead.

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Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson

Raab said on Tuesday that the number of British nationals left in Afghanistan was estimated to be in “the low hundreds”.

The foreign secretary accused his critics for “sloping off” to the newspapers to brief against him.

Raab has been under pressure over his handling the evacuation of Afghanistan and it has been reported he could lose his job in an upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “Anyone that has been sloping off to give off-the-record, anonymous, buck-passing or personalised attacks during a crisis is, I’m afraid, lacking in any credibility whatsoever.”