The prime minister, his wife Carrie Johnson, their infant son Wilfred and the couple’s friend Nimco Ali allegedly spent Christmas together just days after the government prohibited people.
Ali, a home office adviser, godmother to Wilfred and campaigner, was reportedly at the Johnsons’ home as part of their childcare bubble.
The prime minister’s spokesperson has not formally confirmed she was there, but told the press: “What I can say is that the prime minister and Mrs Johnson have followed the coronavirus rules at all times.”
Ali tweeted on Monday that she had not breached any lockdown rules either.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan then appeared to confirm Ali spent Christmas with the pair on Tuesday.
She told BBC Radio 4: “It was a childcare bubble and Nimco was there to help support and look after Wilf.
“I have every confidence they did not break the rules.”
She added that it was a “really tough time for them” with the “challenges of difficult pregnancies”.
Trevelyan concluded: “It’s hard enough for the rest of us but when you’re having to run the country as well...it’s the right thing to do.”
However, not everyone was as convinced.
Some people tweeted that they were “still irritated” by the prime minister’s supposed “childcare bubble”, while others compared it to former government aide Dominic Cummings and his excursion to Barnard Castle in the first lockdown.
People weren’t allowed to see their lonely nans on Christmas Day
But Boris and Carrie had their pal over to No.10
…when they were both at home
…with one baby
…to help with childcare
— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) October 18, 2021
Right. Of course.
How silly of the rest of us not to form a one day child care bubble to break the rules for a day. https://t.co/i2l39jsfbF
— Dr Gavin M. (@drgavinm) October 19, 2021
Still irritated by Johnsons’ ‘childcare bubble’
— emma jacobs (@emmavj) October 19, 2021
The notion Boris Johnson invited Nimco Ali for Christmas so she could provide childcare is as absurd as the notion Dominic Cummings drove to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight.
The truth is, they don't believe the law really applies to people like them.
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) October 18, 2021
We - like millions - obeyed the rules last Christmas. It was tough. My sister was up the road, my mum had just died, we all wanted to meet up. But we stuck to the rules - for the benefit of all. Then again... we're the little people aren't we. https://t.co/nFQuuXXgnb
— Otto English (@Otto_English) October 17, 2021
If this was a Labour leader, it would be leading the news until the full facts were known https://t.co/9sApfDyJG6
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) October 19, 2021
"Dominic Cummings did not break the rules"
"Matt Hancock did not break the rules"
"Boris Johnson did not break the rules"
— Etan Smallman (@EtanSmallman) October 18, 2021
I think we all know what the issue is here. The same issue we had with Cummings. See a loophole, exploit it. Most of us could have found a ‘legal’ way to see family. Most of us knew it was more important to keep others safe.
— Mr Young (@Mr_Young) October 19, 2021
First they denied it. Now it was a childcare bubble; "You can only use a childcare bubble for childcare. You cannot use a childcare bubble to mix with another household for other reasons" They think you are stupid. one rules for them... #Hypocrisyhttps://t.co/X4lQ07QNPL
— Renee Hoenderkamp (@DrHoenderkamp) October 18, 2021
There were a handful of people who took Johnson’s side though, and said No.10 had not breached any lockdown rules as the couple had a child under one at the time.
I think lockdown rule-breaking by politicians should be called out when it happens, but the Johnsons didn’t break the rules. They had a child under 1, so qualified for support bubble with his mother, and also qualified for a separate childcare bubble, in this case with godmother
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) October 19, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.