Boris Johnson “does not have a nap” during the day, Downing Street has said.
The prime minister’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, categorically denied reports that Johnson was taking inspiration from Sir Winston Churchill by taking power naps.
On Tuesday The Times quoted a “Downing Street insider” who said it was not “entirely uncommon for him to shut the door and have a kip for half an hour or so”.
But Stratton told reporters: “The prime minister does not have a nap”.
“Those reports are untrue. He does not have a nap during the day when he’s in Downing Street.”
“His days are jam packed from early in the morning until late at night.”
Johnson’s hero Churchill once praised the restorative power of 40 winks.
“Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight “without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts 20 minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces,” the wartime PM once said.
The speculation came following what may have been an exhausting time for Johnson.
In December 2019 he won the general election following months of gruelling parliamentary battles over Brexit.
In April 2020, he was hospitalised with coronavirus during the height of the first wave of the pandemic and the government’s response, spending some time in intensive care.
His son with partner Carrie Symonds, Wilfred, was born at the end of that month, shortly after Johnson left hospital.
And the PM insisted in June that he has “changed a lot of nappies”, despite previously appearing hesitant to commit to cleaning up after his son.
Asked if Johnson was napping because he is getting up at night to bottle feed Wilfred, Stratton said: “I don’t know about how many times a night he feeds his son.
“I hope it’s at least once.
“But he does not have a nap during the day when he is in Downing Street.”