‘Sorry we didn’t leave the cot!’: politicians cheer PM and Symonds | Politics

It’s only been three weeks since Boris Johnson praised the NHS for saving for his life, but on Wednesday the prime minister was back in hospital with another good reason to thank the health service – the safe delivery of a baby boy.

His partner, Carrie Symonds, gave birth at an NHS hospital in London in the early hours, with a spokesman for the couple saying both mother and son were doing well.

Johnson was present throughout the birth of the boy, who may have arrived some weeks early given that Symonds was due in “early summer”.

Although Johnson missed prime minister’s questions at noon on Wednesday, he was already back at his desk in Downing Street by early afternoon and taking part in a phone call with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Having taken three weeks off to be treated for and recuperate from coronavirus, it is understood Johnson is determined to be present in Downing Street for the crucial decisions that need to be taken in the coming weeks on exiting the lockdown.

He had been planning to take two weeks of paternity leave, but a spokesman said this has been delayed until later in the year – although new fathers must officially take it within 56 days of a birth.

Johnson is also keen to preserve privacy around the birth of his son. He has four children with his estranged second wife, Marina Wheeler – Lara Lettice, 26, Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20 – as well as another child with the art consultant Helen Macintyre. Beyond that, he has always declined to say how many sons and daughters he has overall.

Boris Johnson family tree

“The prime minister is delighted by the birth of his baby son and I’m not going to comment on his other children,” the press secretary said.

The spokesman would not name the hospital that delivered the baby, the time of arrival, or birth weight. He also declined to say whether it was a premature birth or whether the delivery was a medical emergency.

The couple have not yet released a name but bookmakers were taking the most bets on Thomas, George, Winston, Wilfred, Alexander, James and Matthew.

The birth was announced shortly before 10am on Wednesday by a spokeswoman for the couple. She said: “The prime minister and Ms Symonds are thrilled to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning. Both mother and baby are doing very well.

“The PM and Ms Symonds would like to thank the fantastic NHS maternity team.”

Politicians across the spectrum offered their congratulations. Starmer offered his congratulations to Johnson and Symonds on Twitter, calling the announcement “wonderful news”.

Keir Starmer
(@Keir_Starmer)

Wonderful news. Many congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds. https://t.co/x3jD1cQUqY


April 29, 2020

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, tweeted that he was “thrilled” for the couple. “Wonderful to have a moment of unalloyed joy!” he said.

Matt Hancock
(@MattHancock)

So thrilled for Boris and Carrie. Wonderful to have a moment of unalloyed joy!


April 29, 2020

The Queen also sent a private message of good wishes to Johnson and Symonds to congratulate them, Buckingham Palace said. The monarch and the prime minister later spoke on Wednesday evening for their weekly audience.

The prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, said he was “absolutely delighted” and “thrilled” by the birth of his grandson.

David Cameron, who was in Downing Street while Johnson was mayor of London, sent his “heartfelt congratulations”, adding: “Sorry we didn’t leave the cot – but the climbing frame should still be in the garden!”

David Cameron
(@David_Cameron)

Heartfelt congratulations @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds on your wonderful news today. Sam and I are thrilled for you both! Sorry we didn’t leave the cot – but the climbing frame should still be in the garden!


April 29, 2020

Symonds, 32, used to work as the Conservative party’s head of communications but now focuses on environmental and marine conservation issues. She moved into Downing Street with Johnson when he became prime minister and they are the first unmarried couple to live there.

The couple’s new son follows a recent tradition of babies in No 10 with David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, giving birth to their daughter Florence in 2010, and Cherie Blair giving birth to the Blairs’ fourth child, Leo, in 2000.



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