Boris Johnson Defended Over Claims He Broke Lockdown Rules With Friend Visit

Anne-Marie Trevelyan said PM's decision to form a childcare bubble with Nimco Ali over Christmas was “absolutely the right thing to do”.
Downing Street insisted on Monday that the couple complied with coronavirus rules.
Downing Street insisted on Monday that the couple complied with coronavirus rules.
Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has defended Boris Johnson’s decision to have a friend to stay during the Christmas lockdown period, saying it was “absolutely the right thing to do”.

The prime minister and his wife Carrie are under fire after it emerged they had allowed their family friend — the campaigner Nimco Ali — to form a “childcare bubble” over the festive period.

London was plunged into Tier 4 restrictions in the week before Christmas, meaning people could not mix indoors with anyone outside of their household.

The rules at the time also stated that a childcare bubble could only be used for childcare and not for mixing with another household for any other reason.

Downing Street insisted on Monday that the couple complied with coronavirus rules following the report, which was first published in the US in Harper’s Magazine.

Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Ali helped with “childcare challenges”.

“I understand that Nimco is the prime Minister’s son’s godmother and, knowing how many friends of mine and so many of us over the last 18 months managed as best we could with the childcare challenges, family and friends stepped up, people changed homes to be able to look after and support,” she said.

“It’s hard enough for the rest of us, when you’re having to run a country as well and have the challenges of difficult pregnancies, having a supportive friend to be there in your bubble is absolutely the right thing to do.

“It was a childcare bubble and Nimco was there to help support and look after Wilf whilst the challenges of being the prime minister and his wife… I have every confidence they did not break the rules.

She added: “I have absolutely no doubt Carrie and the prime minister were very precise and very clear, and Nimco is a passionate and adoring godmother and I know will have done everything in her power to support them as a family.”

On Monday Ali hit back at the allegations, saying she “did not break any rules” while also criticising the abuse she had received following the story.

“No I did not break any rules but you all knew that and just wanted a reason to tweet hate,” she tweeted.

Ali, who is an independent government adviser on tackling violence against women and girls ,said she had received two days of “racist and disgusting tweets” after an account called Politics For All tagged her in an “untrue story”.


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