DOWNING Street has denied that Boris Johnson enjoyed a weekend trip to Italy earlier this month.

According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Perugia airport and local sources confirmed the Prime Minister was in the city from Friday September 11 to Monday 14 – as the UK was mired in health and Brexit-related crises.

Johnson was supposedly in the region to baptise his son Wilfred in a home owned by Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-British businessman whom the Tory leader nominated for a peerage last month.

The PM’s alleged visit was also said to overlap with a trip by Tony Blair, who was reportedly in the city from September 8 to 11.

But Downing Street has denied the claim, while the president of the airport said the report is the result of a mix-up.

He told the Telegraph that Johnson was "definitely" not in the city, and that he had been confused with Blair in the original press release. 

This morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted he is not aware of Johnson having spent a weekend away in Italy this month.

He told Sky News: "Not that I'm aware of, no. I saw that story in the weekend paper. I think it's mistaken as far as I'm aware."

A No 10 spokesman commented: "This story is completely untrue. The Prime Minister has not travelled to Italy in recent months. Anyone who publishes these claims is repeating a falsehood."

In 2018, while serving as foreign secretary, Johnson was criticised for attending a party held by Lebedev at his converted castle near Perugia.

The Tory minister reportedly turned up at the airport the following morning “looking like he had slept in his clothes”, struggling to walk properly and telling other travellers he had had a heavy night.