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'Completely untrue': Downing Street strongly denies Italian newspaper report that Boris Johnson was in Perugia

The claim was contained in an article in Italian newspaper La Republica.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Image: DPA/PA Images

DOWNING STREET HAS denied what it says are “completely untrue” claims that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Perugia, Italy earlier this month. 

The claim was contained in an article in Italian newspaper La Republica, which quotes an airport worker as saying that Johnson was in the airport “on Friday 11 September or Thursday 10 September”. 

The article also quotes an official statement by the local airport last week which said that Johnson had landed at the airport “over the past few days”. 

The airport’s statement was in the context of a list of famous people who had recently laded at the airport, including former UK prime minister Tony Blair and Barcelona footballer Luis Suarez.  

This morning however, political editor of The Sun Harry Cole is reporting that the Perugia Airport is to retract its statement that Johnson travelled through the airport last week. 

Johnson has previously travelled to Perugia in recent years where he has been a guest of Russian billionaire Evgeny Lebedev

Italy is on the UK’s lists corridor counties list, meaning people returning from there to England do not need to self-isolate. 

PastedImage-3864 The story has been trending across the UK. Source: Twitter

Regardless of this, Downing Street has emphatically denied that Johnson was recently in the central Italian province. 

“This story is completely untrue. The Prime Minister has not travelled to Italy in recent months. Anyone who publishes these claims is repeating a falsehood,” the spokesperson said. 

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Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Grant Shapps MP also said that “as far has he’s aware” Johnson was not in Perugia. 

“Not as far as I’m aware, but I don’t track his movements by the hour. But not as far as I know. As I said I don’t know. But just to be clear, that would that would be a travel corridor in any case. No, not as far as I’m aware,” he said. 

There had ben some questions over where Johnson had been the weekend before last (12 and 13 September), but it is reported this morning that he had been in attendance at the christening of his son Wilfred in Westminster Cathedral.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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