UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds today gave birth to a ‘healthy’ baby boy at an NHS hospital in London today – weeks earlier than anticipated.
Mr Johnson is said to have been by his 32-year-old fiancee’s side throughout the labour before their son entered the world in the early hours of this morning.
The safe arrival of their child, Carrie’s first and Boris’ sixth, has come as a shock because Miss Symonds was expected to give birth later in the summer, although a due date was never confirmed by the couple.
They announced the pregnancy on February 29, days after the PM’s divorce from Marina Wheeler was confirmed, and got engaged while holidaying on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique over the new year.
Announcing the birth of their son, who has not been named yet, his spokesperson 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.’
No 10 have not revealed the hospital they went to – although St Thomas’, where Mr Johnson was in intensive care this month, is the closest to Downing Street. It was previously reported that Carrie had wanted a home birth but these have largely suspended by the NHS because of coronavirus.
Mr Johnson said in early March that he is likely to take his two-week paternity leave when their child is born – but it is not known if he will take a fortnight off now at a time of national emergency. There are also concerns that key decisions over the coronavirus lockdown and how to ease Britain out of it will be delayed because of the Prime Minister’s new baby.
The birth came after an extraordinary month for the couple, who were self-isolating separately, first because of Carrie’s pregnancy and then when Boris fell ill. Mr Johnson then spent a week in hospital, including three days in intensive care, and Miss Symonds was also briefly bedridden with symptoms of Covid-19, but had made a full recovery. They were only reunited last week at Chequers.
How many children does Boris Johnson have?
Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler, who separated in 2018, have four children together: Lara Lettice, 26, Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20.
He also has a fifth child, Stephanie Macintyre, with art consultant Helen Macintyre. Ms Macintyre’s daughter is allegedly one of two children he fathered as a result of an affair.
The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while Mayor of London in 2009 – but also mentioned the possibility of a second baby.
It is not known if the Prime Minister has any more children – but his baby boy with Carrie Symonds is officially his sixth.
It is unclear whether Mr Johnson will take paternity leave, although he is not expected to take Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament this afternoon.
Mr Johnson is said to have been by her side throughout the birth. She sent him scans of the baby while he was ill with coronavirus earlier this month to raise his spirits.
The spokesman 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.’
Miss Symonds has been back living with Mr Johnson at Number 11 Downing Street as the Prime Minister leads the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
She had previously been self-isolating in Camberwell, South London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn, after suffering from symptoms of coronavirus.
The 32-year-old former government adviser then joined Mr Johnson at the PM’s country home of Chequers in Buckinghamshire while he recovered from the virus.
Mr Johnson returned to work on Monday after being photographed back at Downing Street on Sunday evening.
If it was a full-term pregnancy, conception would have taken place last July, around the time Mr Johnson took over from Theresa May as prime minister.
After Mr Johnson was discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital in London following a period in intensive care, they both thanked NHS staff for their ‘magnificent’ work.
Mr Johnson, 55, and Ms Symonds announced in late February that they were expecting a baby in ‘early summer’, and that they had become engaged at the end of last year.
The news was welcomed by politicians today, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeting: ‘So thrilled for Boris and Carrie. Wonderful to have a moment of unalloyed joy!’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Great to hear Downing Street is getting a new resident. Congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on the birth of their son.’
Former chancellor Sajid Javid tweeted: ‘Congratulations Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson. Such wonderful uplifting news!’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘Wonderful news. Many congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds.’
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith tweeted: ‘Congratulations Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, such wonderful news! Baby boy!’
And Sir Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, tweeted: ‘Many congratulations to the PM and Carrie Symonds on the birth of their son!’
The Prime Minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ and ‘thrilled’ by the birth of his grandson.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Some good news – sending congratulations to Carrie and the PM. And wishing health and happiness to the wee one.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted: “Congratulations and prayers for @BorisJohnson and @CarrieSymonds as they welcome their son into the world. Wishing them every blessing and happiness.”
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has also congratulated the PM and Carrie Symonds on the birth of their baby.
Sir Lindsay said: “On behalf of everyone in the House of Commons, may I say congratulations to the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds on the birth of their son.
“Such happy news amid so much uncertainty – 2020 is certainly a year they will never forget.”
Labour’s Jess Phillips tweeted: “Congratulations to the Prime Minister and @carriesymonds. It gets better after the first 8 weeks, or your standards drop so dramatically in that time that you think it’s got easier. I wish them all well.”
Opening the Commons Home Affairs Committee, chairman Yvette Cooper said she wanted to “convey our congratulations to Carrie Symonds and to the Prime Minister on the birth of their baby which is very good news for them”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I echo your words obviously in congratulations to our Prime Minister and the birth of their baby, and Carrie, today.”
Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, tweeted: “Wonderful news of the birth of a baby boy! Many congratulations to the PM @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds. More sleepless nights ahead!”
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe tweeted: “My dear friend, @BorisJohnson, warmest congratulations on the birth of a sweet baby boy!”