LONDON: The girlfriend of new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been denied permission to enter the United States because of her trip to East Africa’s Somaliland in 2018.
Carrie Symonds, who moved into 10 Downing Street when Johnson became prime minister in July, was hoping to visit the US in the next few days as part of her adviser role for Oceana, a US-based environmental non-profit organization.
However, US authorities have blocked her entry, according to the Daily Mail. The paper reports that during her 2018 trip to Somaliland, a region with severe political unrest and a country that does not have diplomatic relations with the US, Symonds met with Muse Bihi Abdi, the nation’s self-declared President, to discuss sea pollution and female genital mutilation.
The 31-year-old would have had to declare such a visit while applying for her Electronic System for Travel Authorization (Esta) to gain entry to the US. The screening process allows visitors to travel to the US for up to 90 days without the need for a formal visa, as long as they don’t pose a security risk.