SomalilandPress — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s gal pal Carrie Symonds has been barred from entering the US on business — apparently because of her trip to Somaliland last year, according to a report.
Symonds, 31, applied for entry to the US as part of her gig with Oceana, an environmental group that works to protect the world’s oceans, according to the Daily Mail.
It is believed American authorities denied Symonds’ request because of her visit to Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia that does not have diplomatic relations with the US, though the UK does, the news outlet reported.
She made the five-day trip last year with her friend Nimco Ali, a campaigner against female genital mutilation, and met with self-declared Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss women’s issues and ocean pollution.
It was unclear if Symonds applied for a US visa by using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which decides whether travelers can enter the country for 90 days without a formal visa providing they do not pose a security risk.
One of the questions posed by ESTA is: “Have you traveled to, or been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011?”
Symonds had hoped to visit the US instead of traveling with Johnson to the upcoming G7 summit of the world’s major economic powers in the French seaside city of Biarritz, according to the Daily Mail.
Any efforts by Symonds to get the ban lifted are complicated by the fact that she cannot officially ask Downing Street to intervene on her behalf.
When Symonds moved into the prime minister’s residence with Johnson, officials issued a statement that she would result in “no extra cost to the taxpayer.”
Johnson is still married to his second wife, Marina Wheeler, the mother of four of his children.
Symonds, the US Embassy in London and Downing Street have all declined to comment to the newspaper.
But a diplomatic source told the outlet: “We are hopeful this can be sorted out in time for Ms. Symonds to go to the US as planned.”