Downing Street denies Carrie and Boris Johnson broke Covid lockdown rules at Christmas

Downing Street has been forced to deny reports the prime minister broke lockdown rules last Christmas, after it was claimed his wife's friend spent the day with them while Covid-19 restrictions had been tightened to outlaw most household mixing.

Boris Johnson's official spokesperson said: "The prime minister and Mrs Johnson have followed the coronavirus rules at all times."

But many are furious about reports which say Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie spent Christmas day with her friend Nimco Ali in 10 Downing Street.

Ms Ali has insisted "I did not break any rules" after Harper's Magazine claimed she "spent Christmas with the couple at No 10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings".

While Mr Johnson's spokesperson insisted the couple followed lockdown rules, he did not deny that Ms Ali did indeed spend the day with them.

Household mixing was banned for many over Christmas last year under the previous tier system which said anyone living in an alert level four area, which London was included under, could only see one person from outside their social bubble, and the meeting was only allowed to take place between individuals in an outdoor public setting.

It has been reported that Carrie Johnson's friend Nimco Ali spent Christmas day inside 10 Downing Street. Credit: PA

The PM brought in the emergency measure in a bid to stop coronavirus cases from spiralling, but there was an exception to provide childcare for those with young children, like Mr and Mrs Johnson's son Wilfred.

It is understood Ms Ali was able to spend the day with them as Mr and Mr Johnson took advantage of the exception which allowed one person to mix with a new household under a childcare bubble.

Ms Ali, who has been advising the government on tackling violence against women and girls, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2019 Birthday Honours List for services to tackling FGM and gender inequality.

Reports that Ms Ali spent Christmas Day at Downing Street angered social media users, who voiced their fury about being forced to have a lonely festive period while Mrs and Mr Johnson were apparently able to have a friend visit.

One social media user wrote on Twitter: "I exchanged presents with my Dad and sister socially distanced, in the rain, in a service station car park on the M1, after not seeing each other for eight months.

"This is unbelievable."