BORIS Johnson went to stay in his second home in the country during a ban on non-essential travel, the UK Government has admitted.
Johnson and wife Carrie Johnson used their Chequers pad during March 2020.
That was before Scotland’s then-Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood was caught out travelling to her second home, a move that cost her the high-profile job.
It’s also before ex-Number 10 spin doctor Dominic Cummings went to Barnard Castle.
Johnson and Symonds travelled to the Buckinghamshire grace and favour home because she was pregnant and had been told to “minimise social contact”, Downing Street has said.
The confirmation, made in a statement to the Tortoise news service, comes on top of a damaging string of revelations about parties held by government teams.
This includes late-night drinks and dancing on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral and the garden “work meeting” attended by Johnson and his wife with their child.
Tortoise reported that it has been asking questions about Chequers for more than a year and faced previous denials from officials.
Restrictions on non-essential travel came in on March 16 2020. The Prime Minister himself made a public statement on the matter.
It’s understood that the Johnsons went to Chequers that day and stayed until March 27.
Downing Street said: “At that time [between 16 March and 27 March 2020], Mrs Johnson was heavily pregnant and had been placed in a vulnerable category and advised to minimise social contact.
“In line with clinical guidance and to minimise the risk to her they were based at Chequers during this period, with the Prime Minister commuting to Downing Street to work.”
However, the news service says it has evidence that Johnson commuted to London during the period and that Chequers staff contracted Covid during the period.
At the time, guidance stated that essential travel “does not include visit to second homes… whether for isolation purposes or holidays”.