Boris Johnson is to sue The New European after it reported he was experiencing“buyer’s remorse” over married life with Carrie Symonds.
A Number 10 Downing Street press officer called the newspaper‘s editor-in-chief Matt Kelly at 10.30pm on Thursday night announcing that the story was untrue, defamatory, and that the Prime Minister is taking legal action against the newspaper.
“The Prime Minister did not make this remark. The allegation is untrue and defamatory,” the spokesman said via a subsequent text message, in which he refused to confirm his identity.
The New European reported on Wednesday that Johnson had made the remarks at a dinner hosted by Daily Telegraph columnist Charles Moore at the all-male Garrick Club.
Asked how family life with his new wife and mother to his child Carrie Symonds was going, he allegedly answered that he was experiencing “buyer’s remorse” over the union, to the astonishment of those present.
One dinner guest told the newspaper: “Clearly he just assumed he was amongst friends, but it was a remarkable thing to say and there were a number of raised eyebrows around the table.”
Last month it was reported that the PM and his wife Carrie spent last Christmas with a friend in Downing Street, even as the rest of the country obeyed tough lockdown rules.
It was claimed that the pair’s friend – campaigner Nimco Ali – joined them in No 10 for the 2020 festive period despite social distancing rules being in force in London amid a tidal wave of coronavirus cases.
Downing Street said no Covid-19 rules had been broken, but neither denied that Ali had spent Christmas with Johnson and his wife.
The allegation was first reported in Harper’s magazine in the UK, in an article written by Lara Prendergast – executive editor of The Spectator.
It claimed that Ali – who is godmother to Wilfred, the Johnsons’ 17-month-old son – “spent Christmas with the couple at No 10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings”.
Ali tweeted on Monday morning that she “did not break any rules”.
Carrie Johnson’s spokeswoman said similar, telling the Mirror: “The PM and Mrs Johnson have followed coronavirus rules at all times. It is totally untrue to suggest otherwise.”
Strict rules on socialising were imposed by Johnson just a week before Christmas. A planned relaxation of Covid rules for Christmas were scrapped for large parts of south-east England – including London – and slashed to just Christmas Day for the rest of the country.
Ali – known to be a close friend of Mrs Johnson – was last year handed a key job as a Home Office adviser, tasked with tackling violence against women and girls.
The £350-a-day post was not advertised.