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Downing Avenue has stated Boris and Carrie Johnson adopted Covid steerage when the prime minister was “commuting” from Chequers to No 10 throughout the first lockdown in 2020 – however declined to reply additional questions, together with whether or not the pair held social occasions.

It emerged final week that the prime minister and his then-fiancee travelled between No 10 and the spacious Buckinghamshire mansion between 16 and 27 March 2020, across the begin of the primary lockdown.

On 16 March, the federal government suggested the general public to keep away from all non-essential journey, and on 22 March, three days earlier than a full lockdown was ordered, specified that important journey “doesn’t embrace visits to second properties”.

Nevertheless, the Tortoise web site reported that Johnson and his associate relocated to Chequers throughout this era, after which the prime minister continued to journey to Downing Avenue from Chequers to work for a number of days.

Johnson’s official spokesperson insisted on Monday that that they had not damaged the foundations, saying they “acted in accordance with each the steerage and subsequent laws always”.

“On the time as you realize, Mrs Johnson was closely pregnant, in a weak class, and suggested to minimise social contacts. So in step with scientific steerage and to minimise the danger to her, they have been based mostly at Chequers throughout that interval, with the prime minister commuting to Downing Avenue to work,” he stated.

He stated their choice to maneuver was due to the precise nature of No 10, which “unusually, is each a non-public residence and an workplace for a whole lot of individuals.”

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The spokesperson identified that by the point the steerage towards travelling to second properties got here in on 22 March, “the prime minister and his spouse have been already based mostly in Chequers, appearing in step with scientific steerage”.

He declined to reply additional questions, nonetheless, together with whether or not events or social occasions have been held at Chequers whereas the pair have been there.

It has been reported that Carrie Johnson hosted a child bathe for a gaggle of buddies on 14 March 2020. By that point a minister, Nadine Dorries, had been identified with Covid.

Johnson remoted alone in his Downing Avenue flat after testing optimistic for Covid on 27 March, finally being taken into St Thomas’ hospital and spending time in intensive care. He then returned to Chequers to convalesce.

Johnson’s compliance with the strict restrictions in place within the first lockdown has come below intense scrutiny in current days, since he apologised for attending a “bring your own booze” gathering, telling MPs he believed it was a “work occasion”.

Johnson seems poised guilty a “tradition” of consuming in No 10 for a sequence of rule-breaking events, together with two held on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. However the prime minister’s critics say he performed a key function in encouraging lockdown-busting behaviour.

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