The girlfriend of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seen outside the US Embassy in London after speculation surfaced that she was barred from entering the country.
Carrie Symonds was photographed on Wednesday leaving the embassy building in South West London through a back door before she got into a blacked-out vehicle while a security guard looked on, according to photos published by the Daily Mail.
The tabloid reported this week that Symonds, a Conservative Party spin doctor-turned-environmentalist, had her request for a US visa denied.
It is understood that the decision stemmed from her 2018 trip to Somaliland, a breakaway region of the terror-plagued Somalia that maintains ties with the UK but is affected by Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Symonds is working for Oceana, a US-based conservation group, and was expected to attend a series of meetings for the organisation.
As a citizen of a visa waiver country, Symonds should have applied for a travel online with the US government system called Esta, which automatically rejects an application if a person states that they have travelled to one of seven Muslim-majority countries. which include Somalia.
It is not clear whether the government will step in on Symonds’ behalf, since Boris Johnson promised upon his election as prime minister that the UK First Girlfriend would inflict “no cost” on the taxpayers.
An anonymous diplomatic source told the Daily Mail they were hopeful that the issue would be sorted out, while neither the Foreign Office nor Symonds have commented on the report so far.
Johnson, 55, and Symonds, 31, met during his re-election campaign for London mayor in 2012. They moved into No. 10 last month, becoming the first unmarried couple to do so.