Boris Johnson joins Carrie Symonds in call to bell-ringing campaigner

Boris Johnson takes time out of his busy schedule juggling Covid and Brexit deal to join fiancee Carrie Symonds in phone call to Christmas Eve bell-ringing campaigner

  • PM told Mary Beggs-Reid he, Ms Symonds and Wilfred ‘will be out ringing bells’
  • The event on December 24 is designed to combat loneliness over Christmas
  • Discussion comes despite the PM facing a crucial few days on several fronts 

Boris Johnson today took time out of his busy schedule juggling the coronavirus crisis and last-minute Brexit negotiations to join fiancee Carrie Symonds in a phone call to a Christmas Eve bell-ringing campaigner. 

The Prime Minister spoke with organiser Mary Beggs-Reid, saying that he, Ms Symonds and baby son Wilfred ‘will be out ringing bells’.

Mary Beggs-Reid, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had claimed her event, designed to help combat loneliness over Christmas, is ‘more needed now than ever’ ahead of her call with Mr Johnson on this morning.

Boris Johnson today took time out of his busy schedule juggling the coronavirus crisis and last-minute Brexit negotiations to join fiancee Carrie Symonds in a phone call to a Christmas Eve bell-ringing campaigner

‘He said him, Carrie and Wilfred will be out ringing bells to help Santa on his way,’ she said.

‘They love the idea and will look for bells to join us. They said they support anything helping Santa fly his sleigh for the children.’

Thousands of people across the UK have been asked to ring bells for two minutes at 6pm on December 24 as part of the campaign, which started on October 19.

The event has been endorsed by Captain Sir Tom Moore, who called it ‘a brilliant initiative at a time where it is really needed’.

Mrs Beggs-Reid said: ‘Especially with the recent news, this is more needed now than ever.

‘It was just a simple bell-ring to start with but it’s evolved into so much more, so that for two minutes on Christmas Eve nobody feels alone.’

The 41-year-old, who works as an estate manager, was contacted by No 10 after Mr Johnson expressed an interest in ringing bells on Christmas Eve.

Mary Beggs-Reid, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had claimed her event, designed to help combat loneliness over Christmas, is ‘more needed now than ever’ ahead of her call with Mr Johnson on this morning

She had been due to travel to London to meet Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds on Monday, but due to the tough new restrictions introduced in the capital on Saturday, they instead took part in a phone call on Tuesday morning.

Mrs Beggs-Reid added: ‘I think it’s fantastic that the Prime Minister is getting behind an everyday mum like me and trying to help communities as much as we can.’

Mr Johnson’s call with the campaigner comes despite the chaos in Kent, where thousands of lorries have been unable to cross the Channel after France imposed a ban on arrivals from the UK due to the new strain of coronavirus ripping through south-east England.

The Prime Minister also has little over a week to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, with the current trading arrangements due to end on December 31.

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