Boris Johnson’s girlfriend barred from the US over visit to Somalia

Carrie Symonds, the girlfriend of British prime minister Boris Johnson, has been blocked from the U.S. because of a 2018 visit to Somaliland.

Symonds, who at 31 is 24 years younger than Johnson, is a senior adviser for the environmental group Oceana and had planned to come to the U.S. for a work trip according to the Daily Mail.

In 2018, Symonds visited Somaliland, an autonomous break off of Somalia which the U.S. does not recognize, but the U.K. does. The trip meant that American officials denied Symonds entry into the U.S., and she will now have to try to find a work around if she wants to attend her organization’s meeting in the U.S.

One of the questions on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which is one of the ways to applies for a U.S. visa is: “Have you traveled to, or been present in Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011?” Answering “yes” to the question results in an automatic rejection of the visa application.

“We are hopeful this can be sorted out in time for Ms. Symonds to go to the US as planned,” a diplomatic source said.

Because Symonds is not married to Johnson, her attempts to appeal the ban are complicated because Downing Street cannot intervene for her. Officials said when she was allowed to move into the prime minister’s residence that she would add “no extra cost to the taxpayer.”

Johnson, 55, is still married to his second wife Marina Wheeler, with whom he has four children: Lara Lettice Johnson, 26, Milo Arthur Johnson, 24, Cassia Peaches Johnson, 22, and Theodore Apollo Johnson, 20. Boris Johnson also has a daughter Stephanie, 10, with Helen Macintyre, an art adviser with whom he had an affair. During court proceedings in 2013 there were claims he had a sixth – and second illegitimate – child.

The British premier had a four-year affair with journalist Petronalla Wyatt, news of which broke in 2004. She later said that she had had an abortion and suffered a miscarriage. His met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen when they were Oxford students in 1987. They divorced in 1993 after he was said to have cheated on her with Marina Wheeler.