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Minister defends Johnsons’ Christmas ‘childcare bubble’ with Nimco Ali


Minister defends Johnsons’ Christmas ‘childcare bubble’ with Nimco Ali

Carrie Johnson needed her friend in her “childcare bubble” with Boris Johnson for extra support over Christmas because of the challenges of running the country and experiencing difficult pregnancies, a cabinet minister has claimed.

It has been revealed that the Johnsons’ friend Nimco Ali, godmother to their son Wilfred, spent Christmas with the family at a time when lockdown restrictions in London prevented almost all household mixing.

On Tuesday the international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, hinted that the family had needed extra support at that time. Johnson, who is now expecting her second child, revealed she had a miscarriage at the start of this year, meaning she is likely to have been pregnant over the festive period.

Wilfred was eight months old at the time and No 10 has said Ali was part of their childcare bubble, which allowed some limited mixing.

Pressed on whether a family would have needed additional childcare over Christmas, Trevelyan said: “It’s hard enough for the rest of us; when you’re having to run a country as well and have the challenges of difficult pregnancies, having a supportive friend to be there in your bubble is absolutely the right thing to do.”

The claims first emerged in a report in Harper’s magazine that said Ali “spent Christmas with the couple at No 10 despite pandemic restrictions on holiday gatherings”.

Ali, who is a prominent campaigner on tackling female genital mutilation and a government adviser on violence against women and girls, said she did “not break any rules”.

Trevelyan said Ali was a “passionate and adoring godmother to Wilf”, and all rules had been followed. “I have no doubt at all the prime minister and Mrs Johnson followed the rules and they had the kind support of Nimco to support them in what was a really tough time for them,” she said. “It was a childcare bubble and Nimco was there to help support and look after Wilf whilst the challenges of being the prime minister and his wife.”

Neither Boris Johnson’s mother – who died last month aged 79 – nor Carrie Johnson’s mother were with the family over Christmas, No 10 has confirmed. Carrie Johnson’s mother, Josephine McAffee, was reportedly part of a support bubble with her daughter, an arrangement that was allowed if one member lived alone or if a household had a child aged under one, which Wilfred was last Christmas.

Despite the circumstances, questions have been raised about whether Ali’s attendance complied with the criteria for social mixing. The government introduced a “Christmas bubble” allowing people to mix on Christmas Day, but this was not in place in areas in the highest tier of restrictions, which then included London.

The rules said it was possible for people to use a childcare bubble on 25 December, even in areas under the highest tier, “but only if reasonably necessary for the purposes of childcare and where there are no reasonable alternatives”.

It was possible for households to have both a support bubble and childcare bubble, but the latter had strict rules and had to be used only for childcare, not as a reason for people from different households to mix socially.

It is not clear whether the childcare bubble arrangement for Ali was longer-term or only in place for Christmas. Under the rules, childcare bubbles could change, but only if there was a reason connected to childcare logistics.

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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I Can’t Contest For President Again; It Will Diminish Me- Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, has said he will never contest for the Presidency of the country again.

The Ex-president said it would amount to diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for election again.

Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday.

The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour earlier in the year that he had purchased a nomination form of the All Progressives Congress to enable him to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

Ahead of the June 2022 APC presidential primary, a group, Nomadic Pastoralists and Almajirai Community, led by Ibrahim Abdullahi, purchased the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms in Jonathan’s name.

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NMDPRA Assures Nigerians Of Steady Fuel Supply

The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petroleum products.

Mr Ahmed Farouk, Chief Executive of NMDPRA, gave the assurance during a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos on Wednesday.

The NMDPRA boss led staff of the Authority to NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa for on the spot assessment.

Farouk said the stock taking exercise was to ensure availability and effective distribution of petroleum products across the nation to reduce queues at filling stations.

“The essence of this exercise is to ensure that the entire states are wet with petroleum products to avoid scarcity and panic buying by commuters during this period.

“As an Authority, we are doing everything within our powers to make sure that there are enough petroleum products in the system to help alleviate the sufferings of commuters.

“With the issue of scarcity across the nation, l found it necessary that NMDPRA come and ensure that there is even distribution of petroleum products across the nation, especially petrol.

“I am comfortable with the the load-out of petrol across the depots.

“The current distribution of petrol across the nation will address the issue of tightness in the market,” he said.

The NMDPRA boss said all depots in Apapa had products and were loading massively to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other states.

He said three vessels were also discharging petrol at Apapa jetty to MOMAN, DAPPMAN and other depots.

Farouk urged Nigerians not to panic and avoid panic buying, while assuring of availability of sufficient products at filling stations across the country.

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