IT has been alleged that Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie breached lockdown restrictions over Christmas 2020 by inviting a friend, Nimco Ali, to spend the holiday period with them at Downing Street. At the time, England had gone into strict lockdown due to a surge in case numbers. The regulations put in place at the time by Johnson's own government prohibited households from mixing indoors.

Despite everyone else having a socially distanced Christmas, it appears that Johnson and his wife still invited one of their friends to visit them in the Prime Minister's official residence, possibly because they wanted to show off their eye-wateringly expensive wallpaper. Johnson has not denied that Ali visited the couple but has rejected suggestions that there was any breach of the rules.

It's not the first time that Johnson has been caught displaying a cavalier attitude to the rules that his government imposes on everyone else. In August, the Prime Minister refused to self-isolate after a member of his entourage on a two-day trip to Scotland tested positive for coronavirus. It is thought that the infected staff member accompanied Johnson during a visit to the Police Scotland training college in Fife and also travelled with him in the confined quarters of a private chartered flight later the same day.

Johnson insisted that he had not come into close contact with anyone who tested positive. Government guidance says someone "can be" a close contact if they have had a face-to-face conversation within one metre with someone testing positive. Alternatively they can have been within one metre for one minute without face-to-face contact, or within two metres of the person for longer than 15 minutes. The guidance also says that someone may be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as the person testing positive.  

In July, Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak initially refused to self-isolate after coming into contact with Sajid Javid, who had tested positive for the virus. They claimed that they were conveniently participating in a pilot project that entailed daily testing instead. Following a furious backlash, they were forced to backtrack and did self-isolate after all.

Johnson seems to believe that he is above all the rules that everyone else must abide by. When he said the UK had to leave the EU single market and customs union because the UK had to be a rule-maker, not a rule-taker, he was clearly talking about himself. It's very much the story of his indulged and privileged life.

This piece is from today's REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

To receive our full newsletter including this analysis straight to your email inbox, click here and tick the box for the REAL Scottish Politics