Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce birth of son | Johnson not taking parental leave until year end

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce birth of son | Johnson not taking parental leave until year end

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce birth of son – BBC News

Sky News understands the prime minister wants to focus on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak for now.

By Alan McGuinness, Political reporter @Alan_McGuinness



Image:Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds arrive back at Downing Street after the PM’s December election victory


Boris Johnson will take a “short period” of paternity leave later this year following the birth of his son with fiancee Carrie Symonds, Downing Street has confirmed.

Sky News understands the prime ministerwants to focus on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak for now.

“I do expect the prime minister to take a short period of paternity leave later in the year, rather than now,” his spokesman told a Westminster briefing for journalists.


Johnson’s baby marks new chapter in PM’s very public private life

A divorce, a near fatal illness, fatherhood – no PM has gone through so much so publicly

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

It is hard to imagine any British prime minister has been through such a rollercoaster of personal emotion in the space of four months as Boris Johnson. Only a month ago the prime minister was in a hospital ward wondering if the coronavirus that continued to grip his lungs would mean that he would die in office only three months after securing a resounding personal mandate from a Brexit-weary electorate.

If things had gone a different way in St Thomas’ hospital, to use Johnson’s own phrase, he would indeed have died in public office, probably the most famous of the 218,000 victims of coronavirus worldwide.

Now a month later, and possibly many weeks before he or his fiancee Carrie Symonds had expected, he was rushed back to hospital, but to see the delivery of his child. Symonds is herself only just recovering from the same virus.

Boris Johnson with Carrie Symonds just before the England v Wales match begins at Twickenham on 7 March. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

No date can yet be set for their summer wedding, the first involving a serving prime minister since 1822, since no date has been set by the prime minister to allow large gatherings to go ahead.

If all this seems like an overblown episode of a very modern family soap opera, and somewhat distracting in the midst of the biggest shock to the British economy since the second world war, do not forget that the final terms of his disputed divorce settlement with his former wife Marina Wheeler have only just been sorted. The bruised emotions of his children from previous marriages also need tending to.



More than 20,000 people have died in hospital with COVID-19 since the UK’s outbreak began, with the nationwide lockdown imposed on 23 March set to be reviewed early next month.

Mr Johnson only returned to Downing Street on Monday after spending time in hospital with the coronavirus, including a number of days in intensive care.


After a difficult few weeks, the news of the family’s new arrival was announced on Wednesday morning, with Ms Symonds giving birth at a London hospital.

More from Boris Johnson

It is understood that Mr Johnson was present throughout, with the news that he would miss Prime Minister’s Questions revealed shortly before the birth announcement.

The couple are “thrilled” and both mother and baby are “doing very well”, their spokeswoman said.

Archive: Johnson and Symonds in public

Number 10 declined to say whether the baby was born prematurely, with Mr Johnson’s spokesman unable to provide details of the weight, timing, nature or location of the birth.

The PM returned to work in Downing Street following the birth.

His spokesman confirmed the new family are planning to live in their Downing Street flat along with their dog Dilyn.

Mr Raab deputised for the PM while he was in hospital, although it is not known whether he will resume that position when Mr Johnson takes paternity leave.

Feburary: Symonds and Johnson expecting first child together

New fathers are entitled to up to two weeks of statutory paternity leave.

This is paid at £151.20 per week, or 90% of average weekly earnings, depending on which is lower.

Expectant fathers have to give their employer at least 15 weeks’ notice that they intend to take their leave entitlement.

Some couples can take 50 weeks of shared parental leave in the first year following a birth or adoption, although the eligibility criteria for this are narrower.


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Mr Johnson is not the first PM in recent history to welcome a new addition while in Downing Street, following in the footsteps of David Cameron (2010-16) and Tony Blair (1997-2007).

Mr Blair did not to take full paternity leave when his son Leo was born in 2000, the first baby born to a serving PM in 152 years.

However he did say he would temporarily take things easy.

Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha welcomed Florence Rose Endellion into their family in August 2010, with the then-PM taking paternity leave.

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