The British prime minister flew to Perugia last week, an Italian newspaper claims. The London government denies the tough journey. But there are other clues.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is suspected of secretly traveling to Italy last week. This is reported by the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”, which quotes a statement from Perugia airport in the Umbria region. A UK government spokesman denied the report in the “Repubblica”.
Boris Johnson’s alleged trip became known by chance: Perugia Airport had published a statement in honor of the arrival of Uruguayan “FC Barcelona” star Luis Suarez, who landed in Perugia last week. In it, the operators write that numerous prominent guests have honored the airport in recent days – and they cite the British Prime Minister as an example.
The trip would shed a bad light on Johnson
Should the statement prove true, it would be of political importance for several reasons. On the one hand, the prime minister could be accused of having unplanned fun on vacation while his country faces the Brexit chaos and the corona crisis.
On the other hand, it would not be Johnson’s first visit to Perugia that caused a sensation, as “La Repubblica” and the British news site “The Guardian” write. The Prime Minister has visited British-Russian millionaire Evgeny Lebedev several times in recent years.
Lebedev, owner of the free London daily “Evening Standard” and close friend of Johnson’s, is said to regularly celebrate legendary parties in his Italian vacation villa, which also welcomes politically controversial guests such as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Johnson also attended such receptions – and was subsequently spotted at the airport: without security personnel, without a shower, and visibly exhausted.
Two years ago, when Johnson was still Secretary of State under Theresa May, such a visit sparked a scandal: at the time, Johnson honored the businessman just two months after former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter poisoned Novichok in London with the Soviet neurotoxin.
The flight data confirms the assumption
According to research by La Repubblica, an airport spokesman confirmed that Boris Johnson landed in Perugia last week. An airport employee and another source also assured the newspaper that the prime minister should have been there: from September 10 or 11 to September 14. This also coincides with data on inbound and outbound private flights between London and Perugia that “La Repubblica” investigated.
Although a Johnson spokesman for The Guardian denied that the prime minister had been in Italy, there are reports that could be related to the trip: According to the British newspaper The Times, Johnson and his wife could follow Flew to Perugia to see his son be baptized.
Some tabloids, including the British “Sun”, had previously reported the prominent baptism at the weekend. However, the journalists did not write where the religious celebration should have taken place. So it remains unclear for now whether Johnson actually spent the weekend with his family – and whether they stayed in the country before that or perhaps combined the festive occasion with a visit to Johnson’s millionaire friend Evgeny Lebedev.