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Minister defends Boris Johnson and wife Carrie over ‘childcare bubble’

Boris and Carrie DID have friend Nimco Ali stay at Christmas as part of ‘childcare bubble’ to ‘look after Wilf’, reveals Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, as she insists she has ‘every confidence they did not break Covid rules’

  • Report said friend Nimco Ali had joined the Johnsons over the Christmas period 
  • No10 would not confirm if Ms Ali had stayed but said rules were complied with 
  • Cabinet minister has now confirmed Ms Ali did stay as part of ‘childcare bubble’
  • Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that Ms Ali was there to ‘look after’ PM’s son Wilfred  


A Cabinet minister today confirmed that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie did have a friend stay with them last Christmas as part of a ‘childcare bubble’. 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, said Nimco Ali was at Number 10 over the festive period ‘to help support and look after’ the Johnsons’ son, Wilfred. 

Ms Trevelyan said she had ‘no doubt at all’ that the Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson followed the strict coronavirus rules which were in place at the time.  

It is the first time a member of the Government has publicly confirmed that Ms Ali, a political campaigner, stayed with the Johnsons at Christmas after a report made the claim last week.  

Downing Street had indicated yesterday that Ms Ali was in a ‘childcare bubble’ with the Johnsons but would not formally confirm it. 

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said the PM and Mrs Johnson ‘have followed the coronavirus rules at all times’.   

Ms Ali insisted ‘I did not break any rules’ after the report in the US in Harper’s Magazine claimed she ‘spent Christmas with the couple at No10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings’. 

Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan today confirmed that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie did have a friend stay with them last Christmas

The International Trade Secretary said Nimco Ali was at Number 10 over the festive period 'to help support and look after' the Johnson's son, Wilfred

The International Trade Secretary said Nimco Ali was at Number 10 over the festive period ‘to help support and look after’ the Johnson’s son, Wilfred

Last Christmas, London was under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, meaning people should not have mixed with anyone outside their households, except in support and childcare bubbles.

Mr and Mrs Johnson were said to have been in a ‘support bubble’ with Mrs Johnson’s mother, Josephine McAfee. 

Coronavirus rules at the time would have allowed a separate ‘childcare bubble’ to also be in place. 

Ms Trevelyan was asked about the ‘childcare bubble’ this morning, telling the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘I am afraid I don’t have any information… but 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, support.

‘Grannies left homes to go and look after others. I think I have no doubt at all that the Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson followed the rules and that they had the kind support of Nimco to support them in what was a really tough time for them.’

Told that there were strict rules at the time on household mixing, the Cabinet minister replied: ‘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…’

She added: ‘I have every confidence that they did not break the rules.’

Asked if Mr and Mrs Johnson were both working through Christmas, Ms Trevelyan said: ‘I’m afraid I don’t know if you’ve had children, I have had children and the challenges of managing daily life, personal ill health, all of those things can mean that having the extra support of a mother, of a friend as a childcare bubble is exactly why we created that bubble framework so you could as a family bring in someone else willing to give up their own space and choices to come and be part of a family bubble to support those who needed it through all sorts of different reasons.

Downing Street had indicated yesterday that Ms Ali was in a 'childcare bubble' with the Johnsons but would not formally confirm it

Downing Street had indicated yesterday that Ms Ali was in a ‘childcare bubble’ with the Johnsons but would not formally confirm it

‘I have absolutely no doubt that Carrie and the Prime Minister were very precise and very clear and Nimco is a passionate and adoring godmother, I know, and will have done everything in her power to support them as a family.’

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said yesterday: ‘What I can say is that the Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson have followed the coronavirus rules at all times.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, I’m happy to confirm that the Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson’s mothers were not there over the Christmas period.

‘The rules made clear you could continue to use childcare bubble on Christmas itself, including in a Tier 4 area.’    

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