Boris Johnson ‘nearly swept out to sea during Scottish holiday’

Boris Johnson ‘nearly swept out to sea during Scottish holiday’
PM came close to ‘catastrophe’ off north-west coast last year, according to report

Boris Johnson will not be heading to Scotland for his summer holiday this year, after it emerged how close he came to “catastrophe” on last year’s staycation in the Highlands.

The prime minister’s visit to a cottage in remote Applecross on the north-west coast was cut short last August after the location was revealed.

But the trip went badly wrong for another reason: Mr Johnson got swept out sea while attempting to paddle board, according to a report in The Times.

“He nearly drowned,” a government source told the newspaper. “He got swept away and found himself going further and further out.”

A separate source said the prime minister had been canoeing, rather than paddle-boarding, when he got in trouble in the water near his holiday cottage.

The prime minister’s security team was said to have been sufficiently worried that they considered calling out a rescue helicopter.

But Mr Johnson managed to paddle or row towards his protection officers, who had swum out to sea to save him. “It could have been a catastrophe,” the source told the newspaper.

Mr Johnson was supposed to take a two-week holiday with his partner Carrie, their son and their dog Dilyn. But the trip was cut short when the Daily Mail revealed photographs of the rental cottage and social media users quickly identified its location.

Mr Johnson and his team feared he and the family could be “mobbed by Scottish nationalists,” officials told reporters at the time.

Although the prime minister will remain in the UK for a staycation this summer, he is thought to have ruled out returned a return to Scotland after last year’s experiences.

The prime minister is said to have told friends he would go back for a holiday “over my dead body”.

International trade secretary Liz Truss has reportedly enjoying a summer holiday abroad in Barbados this summer, but fellow cabinet ministers have decided on a staycation instead.

Despite the opening up for international holiday destinations, most ministers remain worried about the PR implications of jetting off abroad when so many Britons have struggled to make foreign holiday plans.

Climate minister Alok Sharma has come in for heavy criticism after it emerged he flew to 30 countries this year – including six on the government’s Covid red list – without isolating on his return.

Sarah Olney, the Lib Dems transport spokesperson, said: “While Alok Sharma flies to red list countries with abandon, hard-working families can hardly see loved ones or plan holidays as the government changes travel rules on the hoof.”

The Independent has approached No 10 for comment.

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