Boris Johnson’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, has been barred from visiting the US.
She had applied for permission to go to the US in the next few days as part of her job with environmental group Oceana but the request was blocked by the American authorities, the Daily Mail reported.
The situation could prove embarrassing for the British Prime Minister, who is expected to meet US President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in France which begins on Saturday.
Such a privilege to meet so many inspiring people who do such incredible work. https://t.co/fd6jXU7ErE— Carrie Symonds (@carriesymonds) August 12, 2019
The problem with Ms Symonds’ travel plans could be linked to a trip to Somaliland last year.
The US does not recognise Somaliland as an independent country, instead viewing it as part of Somalia.
Applicants under the electronic system for travel authorisation (Esta) visa waiver programme, which allows British people to spend up to 90 days in the US, are asked whether they have visited Somalia since March 2011.
Ms Symonds visited Somaliland last year with her friend Nimco Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation.
Somaliland is Africa’s best kept Secret, it’s my birth place and it’s stunning. For 28 years without international assistance we have rebuilt our Country and are the only democracy in the Horn of Africa. I am happy to personally show anyone around the land I was sourced from. 🔻— Nimco Ali (OB-fanny-E) 🔻 (@NimkoAli) August 21, 2019
Following the reports of Ms Symonds’ travel difficulties, Ms Ali said on Twitter: “Somaliland is Africa’s best kept Secret, it’s my birth place and it’s stunning.
“For 28 years without international assistance we have rebuilt our Country and are the only democracy in the Horn of Africa. I am happy to personally show anyone around the land I was sourced from.”
Ms Symonds has no official role in Downing Street and no taxpayer-funded support, although she has been pictured at functions in Number 10 with Mr Johnson.
Downing Street declined to comment when approached by the PA news agency.
- Press Association