Downing Street Denies Boris Johnson Made Secret Trip to Italy

Update: Speaking to the Guardian, Stefano Panato an official at the airport, said: "He absolutely did not recently land in Perugia. In recent years, yes, he passed through, but not recently. I have checked the registries and spoken to people, this is the official denial."

Panato said that there may have been a mix up between Tony Blair and Boris Johnson. "Tony Blair arrived the 13th and left 14th. Someone said the British prime minister had passed through but the British prime minister is no longer Tony Blair," he said.

Boris Johnson's office has denied reports that he secretly flew to Italy earlier this month to baptize his son with the airport in question also denying he landed there.

Number 10 Downing Street denied allegations printed in Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the prime minister had made a trip to the Italian city of Perugia in the past two weeks. The newspaper cited an airport staff member as saying that Johnson had arrived on September 11, while another source was cited as saying that the prime minister had arrived "on Friday 11 September at 2pm and left on Monday 14 September at 7.45am".

Downing Street was strong in its response. A spokesman said: "This story is completely untrue. The prime minister has not traveled to Italy in recent months. Anyone who publishes these claims is repeating a falsehood."

The airport at the centre of the allegations, San Francesco d'Assisi Airport, also rejected claims that the prime minister had landed there.

Boris Johnson
10 Downing Street has said claims that Johnson flew to Italy this month are untrue. Getty

Reports of the alleged trip came after Barcelona footballer Luis Suarez flew into Perugia on September 17.

Following the Uruguayan footballer's visit, the airport, San Francesco d'Assisi, put out a press release stating that the U.K. prime minister had also visited during the week before Suarez.

It comes as the prime minister confirmed a second wave of COVID-19 had reached the U.K., with another 3,899 lab-confirmed cases were confirmed in the latest 24-hour period.

England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is due to hold a press conference later alongside the government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance where they are expected to warn that the rate of infection in the country is headed in the "wrong direction".

The pair are also expected to set out "potential scenarios" the country could face in the months ahead and will tell the public that they should prepare for a "very challenging" winter.

Whitty is expected to say: "The trend in the U.K. is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic.

"We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period."

Johnson is also expected to address the nation this week after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country was at "tipping point" into a second wave of the deadly virus.

Update 09/23/20, 10.39 a.m EST: This story has been updated to reflect that San Francesco d'Assisi Airport has retracted claims Boris Johnson landed at the airport.